Interesting that I should read Dewi's post that mentions informal community networks in Jakarta and Bangkok, and not long afterwards I stumble on Kazys Varnelis' "The Rise of Network Culture," through his blog post.
Being a fan of Manuel Castells, I read the latter quite excitedly, and found it to be a good further exploration on the importance of networks. It's quite a heavy and philosophical read (not sure I understood all of it), stating how "network culture" is the next big thing after modernism and postmodernism. I quote my favorite part:
Today, network culture succeeds postmodernism. It does so in a more subtle way. It does not figure itself as an “ism” that would lay claim to the familiar territory of manifestos, symposia, definitive museum exhibits and so on, but rather servers as a more emergent phenomenon.A question remains in my head: how does this entirely "new cultural condition" link to the lives of the poor? Surely, they have networks too; in fact, many aspects of their livelihoods depend on networks. Would networks mean more to them now, as more people in rural areas have access to cell-phones, than before?
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