Once a Radio divide – Now a Digital divide

Inspired by Elias’ post on Brecht and Brecht’s suggestions on how to use the Radio from 1932 I want to continue by relating to the historically ongoing discussion on new technology.

As we know, new technology is developed by the minute, and thus it is very difficult and time consuming to take it all in. This is how it always has been, though. But with the digital revolution there are more implications on not to be able to follow the development than there where in the times of when the radio was new.

books

The term of incommunicado often refers to a state of being without the means or rights to communicate, and often the term relates to cases of incommunicado due to confinement and as a threat of extensive human rights violations. However, the term can also be used in the discussion of the digital divide or digital inclusion and digital exclusion.

From the book Incommmunicado reader,  edited by Geert Lovink and Soenke Zehle in 2005,  I have read an article by Bernardo Sorj and Luis Eduardo Guedes called Digital Divide: Conceptual Problems, Empirical Evidence and Policy Making Issues. The article is based on the authors research on computer usage in suburbs, favelas, outside Rio de Janeiro. The authors are negative to previous research on computer usage. They therefore go further in their  own research in order to find a more facetted conclusion. The main negative on previous research according to Sorj and Guedes  is that it is just based on the amount of computers available for a group of people and not.  Sorj and Guedes’ research asks questions on internet access, who is using the computer, how often, for what purpose, where and how is the constant need for updates handled.  One of the conclusion the authors strongly argues  is that in order to progress the computer literacy among people with a good outcome it is of great importance  to look further into public policies such as on education, job possibilities and gender questions.

Sorj and Guedes research  again brings us back to the question of how communities nowadays are made up. The digitally excluded are still in the community of the state/nation , but the digitally included have the possibility to meet up in other communities through the digital network.  Hence, Sorj and Guedes mean that ICT can make more injustices in the world as while the digitally included find new ways of communicating the digitally excluded become even more marginalized.

/Maria

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