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.



          • Each week, the typical American continues to increase his/her media time, watching over 35 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. 

        Article for Concept Application Note:

        "Exposing the Bias Embedded in Tech"

        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