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August 17, 2006 / ergonomic

La Sociedad Red de Manuel Castells

Manuel Castells es una especie de referente contemporáneo. Quizá por haber estudiado en BCN, pero su nombre siempre estuvo dando vueltas, tanto cuando trabajé en el Ayuntamiento de Barcelona como cuando empecé a estudiar interactividad e interacción persona-máquina.

Su trilogía sobre la sociedad red, es comparada -por Giddens y otros- como los trabajos realizados por Marx y Weber. Cierto o no, el discurso de Castells se ha convertido como en una interface entre los desarrollos digitales (básicamente producto de la aparición de Internet) y la reorganización político-económico-social de nuestra globalizada sociedad.

Lejos de estar desaparecido, como creía, Castells se ha refugiado en la University of Southern California, para concentrarse en los medios de comunicación masiva y su impacto en las transformaciones contemporáneas.

Dejo aquí algunos extractos de una entrevista, que recomendamos leer:

Digital Convergence: “We have these new words, such as new media, multimedia, to explain the changes that have taken place. We can no longer understand any medium without language and interaction – without multimodal processing. Even if television is television and radio is radio, there is an increasing connection, a real-time interactivity, between different kinds of communications. We are now clearly moving towards an integration of all kinds of media and communications, which are deeply interconnected”.

Network in the theory of communication: “I don’t think you can have a serious theory in communication nowadays without a network theory. I think network theory is the heart of communication theory, because it opens up the possibility of seeing, for instance, convergence, multimodality, interactivity”.

The networking of production, the differentiation of consumption, the decentring of power and the individualization of experience are reflected, amplified and codified by the fragmentation of meaning in the broken mirror of the electronic hypertext, where the only shared meaning is the meaning of sharing the network.
[More: http://www.chet.org.za/networksoc.html].

Digital Divide: The digital divide is about access to the global. More important, for me, is what to do when there is access, where to find things and how to find them, and what to do with the information you find to produce knowledge and to perform tasks. This is the fundamental issue. …. Individuals look for connections; …. Even nowadays large parts of the world are not connected.

Fuente: Terhi Rantanen “The message is the medium: An interview with Manuel Castells” Global Media and Communication, Volume 1(2): 135-147, 2005

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