Shift

what is digitising actually do???

Martin Hand argues that ‘digitization enables and intensifies processes of circulation, flattening, de -territorialization, and de-differentiation, and for new kinds of objects, subjects and practices to become emergent and convergent in a transition from analogue to digital cultures.’

Whilst I do agree with this statement, photography already supported this. Taking photos and getting these ‘developed’ in a lab and having to wait for the lab to return the prints would obviously not give that instantaneous feedback.

What makes digitisation attractive is the instant gratification, the immediacy both in time and space. Smartphones and other devices streamline our actions and our thoughts into cyberspace. We have a presence that extends beyond our physical boundary.

And Hand continues: ‘The question of speed is thought to be central in altering the objects and conditions of contemporary capitalism producing scenarios of immediacy,24/7 communications and the transformation of culture into indifferent information.’

I am not sure if information can be ‘indifferent’ though…

and further on in the chapter: (p 19) ‘any delay or distance between doing something and thinking about it is lost in the global information culture.’ …’ The end of culture as a representational, super-structural or epiphenonemon’.

not quite sure if I get this at the moment. Seems a contradiction when considering visual complexity modelling.

 

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Superhighways

I decided to make a one-off payment on a store card I have but hardly use. The hassle of setting up direct debits or going in person to the bank or post office  has been taken out of the daily grind of dealing with this. However, it assumed I am digitally networked and have the competency to deal with this type of activity. It is a simple example of how socioeconomic conditions determine how we deal with these daily tasks. Whilst it saves me time and money (no car journeys, as late a payment as possible, no postage), one could say it is less democratic as not everyone can afford such networked facilities. Ironically it would be less straightforward now to make paper payments. So in that sense, technology cannot always be helpful unless you are equipped to deal with it. It may both enable and disable our outlook.

There were a few more implications: I can save my payment details as an image, not a text-based document. And in order to display it online in this blog, I thought it was best to take out my card details, to stop fraud.

Social inclusion, participation, empowerment, as has been argued, can be achieved through networked technology but without the necessary financial means and skills to use the technologies,one can be left digitally stranded.

But one could argue this is nothing new: when Ford introduced the first Model T motorcar, regarded as the first affordable car, produced on an assembly line, mobility became a force for social change. It comes perhaps as no surprise that language to describe these new development, i.e. the information superhighways, were inspired before by real tarmac, offering people opportunities to engage more quickly with other groups. Financial means to support such activity is crucial.

 

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