Living the Information Society in Asia

Living the Information Society in Asia

Living the Information Society in Asia

Living the Information Society in Asia

Excerpt

For it is inescapable that every culture must negotiate with technology,
whether it does so intelligently or not. A bargain is struck in which
technology giveth and technology taketh away. (Postman 1992, p. 5)

The quote from Postman's Technopoly captures the ambivalence and many of the contradictions that people experience with technology. It is as true today, with information and communication technologies (ICTs), as it was during the industrial revolution with the steam engine and industrial factories. Technology affects us at various levels, and for both good and ill.

As one of the key transformative factors in a globalizing world, the advances in ICTs have transformed everyday life and how people interact and interconnect with each other, communities, states, and markets. The so-called “ICT-revolution”, as noted and debated by scholars, politicians, and policy-makers, has had an inordinate effect on economies and societies, leading to what has been termed a “global shift” (Cerny 1995). This suggests two fundamental alterations to the global political economy. First, there is the movement from an industrially-based international economy to one that is information- and knowledge-based. For some, these changes signal the emergence of the “Third Industrial Revolution” which is both transnational in character and based on post-Fordist regimes of accumulation. Second, the ICT revolution is said to have profound positive and negative social, political and economic consequences that can become factors in determining development and underdevelopment. As such, ICT and its management have become a new rhetoric of development.

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