Social developments from digital environments

11. Reshaping Our Social Environment

  • The Death of Distance?
    from Frances Carincross, Death of Distance

    • Horizontal bonds (language, culture, jobs) will be strengthened across different parts of the globe.
    • Vertical bonds (governments and companies
      to people) will weaken.
    • Familiarity may (or may not) breed love; but it will drive knowledge of others.
    • Income distribution across countries will narrow, but within countries will widen.
    • Digitization leaves tracks: commercial use of
      content can be targeted.
    • Information overload will both enable and cripple government surveillance efforts.
  • The World is Flat?
    from Thomas L. Friedman, The World is Flat, 3.0
    • Previously closed economies are open to the world.
    • The internet enables wide information sharing and the use of workflow software.
    • Work can be open sourced (with "everyone" participating), outsourced, insourced, and off-shored.
      Personal digital communication devices bring individuals into quick contact with information and the economic stream.
    • The flateners join with the openings to dynamically illustrate the benefits of horizonal integration.
      • Crowdsourcing can be . . . well . . . dangerous (Minds for Sale).

  • Four Metaphors:
  • Global Village or Global Marketplace?
    • In the village, folks would
      • Be interconnected
      • Be interdependent
      • Telecommute, mixing home with job
      • Share a cultural veneer so, would be informed about each other.
    • In the marketplace, folks
    • Urban Villagers or Urbane Villagers?
      • Urban Villagers might stress their participation as villagers and use info. to nurture culture and relationships
      • Urbane Villages folks might ignore those in need and eschew contact with others.

    What a creepy photo of Mark Zuckerberg says about our dystopian tech future.

    Each week, the typical continues to increase his/her media time, watching over 35 hours hours of TV, 2 hours of which is timeshifted TV, 20 minutes of online video and 4 minutes of mobile video, while also spending nearly 4 hours on the Internet. In addition, 59% of Americans surf the Internet and watch TV at the same time. 

    Concept 11 Application Note article:

    "The Decentralized Internet Is Here, With Some Glitches "

    Want to learn more?

    Franklin Foer. World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech. Penguin Books, 2017.

    Andrew Keen, The Internet is Not the Answer. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2015.

    Douglas Rushkoff. Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. Penguin: 2013. 

    Frances Carincross, Death of Distance

    Thomas L. Friedman, The World is Flat, 3.0


(A) Concept Exams

(B) Text Reading

(C) Concept Application
Notes & Discussions
(D) 3-part-Research Writing Project
(E) Extra Credit Grading Special Considerations
Concepts Schedule IM 355 Homepage