Lecture I: From a cave to web society

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23 thoughts on “Lecture I: From a cave to web society

  1. Nowadays media has huge influence on the people. Especially tv can be/ and in many cases is/ the very dangerous weapon for propaganda, and for imposing to other people some opinions and beliefs. I think, that went out of control during the time of progress. Firstly tv was an amazing technological novelty that task was to unite people from all over the world and to make easier for the people to know what is going on on the earth, and sometimes to entertain audience. Now it is on a huge scale a source of propaganda. Actually the most free media from all of them is internet in which everybody have right to free statement, pronouncement. Of course there also can be a propaganda like we said in one of the lectures about e.g „internet trolls”, but it isn’t for such a huge scale as in the other media’s.
    I think that we should keep an eye on this case, and guard it because there are some ideas of how to limit the freedom and independence of internet…

  2. First of all I’d like to describe the term ‘society’. A society is a body of individuals outlined by the bounds of functional interdependence, possibly comprising characteristics such as national or cultural identity, social solidarity, language, or hierarchical structure. Then even nowadays the social websites like Facebook or Twitter is a kind of society because there we can see all characteristic features that are listed above. But at the same time we can’t look at the internet (with all its parts) like at the society. Because one websites can be treated like the social media and the other as a simulated society.

  3. Because of my faculty law, I started be interested how looks legal regulation of social media. I found really useful common categories of requirements controlling how organizations manage social media. The first one is data protection and privacy: Laws and regulations that ensure customers’ rights to privacy are covered when use social media data. Example regulation: The proposed EU General Data Protection Regulation, including the “right to be forgotten” provision.This is really nice case to udnerstand how we are protected in internet and how easy is find informations about us f.ex. in google.pl and one reason is our agreement, which we gave and often we are not aware of it. The second one is guidelines that dictate how companies can construct social media policies as well as to what extent they can monitor the activity of current employees and prospective hires. Example regulation:

    or the next one governance and oversight: Rules that require companies to establish proper processes, controls, and monitoring for worker business use of social media. Its impossible to create regulation of social media al over the world in every field of law, but we should be awere that we have right in Internet and we should react on every symptom , which is contra-us.

  4. I agree that internet creates new civilisation but I see two sides of this judgement. On the one hand i see this in a positive way. Internet gives people possibility to meet each other in a way nobody knew in the era of radio or television. People with the same interests and passions can easily meet each other on facebook, instagram, snapchat or any other social media tool and create an event or do something for a good cause. I see it as a advantage untill it’s used to create some negative things or movements, for example terrorists, like the most known right now Islamic State, which is using internet to create this evil movement and makes it bigger and more dangerous. For me what is really new about the internet that makes it different from others technologies is the possibility of using it. nowadays you can use it whenever you want and wherever you want. in my opinion what is new about the internet is that it creates spaces for everybody. let’s take tv for example. all of those programs, whenever you turn on tv, there’s always people that it is hard to meet on the street beacuse they are so incredibly unreal. I think what is new about the internet is that there is a space for anybody, whatever your weight, religion, sexuality or even age.

  5. People create communities that often do not appreciate the achievements of their ancestors.They begin to live in a completely new reality – virtual reality. Completely different from the real world. It’s already hard to identify the sphere of human activity in which the Internet is not present. We are able to communicate with people who are thousands of kilometers away in a few seconds. Our real life is intertwined with the virtual one. A perfect example can be the Arab Spring, where people through communication on the Internet organized public protests. I think we are eyewitnesses of the creation of a new civilization.

  6. I agree with Elwira. As we can read in the dictionary, civilisation is a social group within a national culture that has distinctive patterns of behavior and beliefs. Internet creates some patters, culture, sometimes even social identity and beliefs but is very scattered. Civilization is a cohesive entirety. Internet allows to create diversity and this is te greatest asset.
    I couldn’t agree more with J. Baudrillard about the hyperreality. And maybe I’m wrong, but I see that we operate in a reality of signs and symbols. What’s more, some people are more committed in the hyperreal world and less with the physical real world. We can complain that it is good or bad. But so what?

    1. Yes, we surely can’t name all Internet users a civilisation. As you wrote, Dominika – it is a way bigger than society. Civillisations have been creating themselves for ages (for instace Maya civilisation).
      It is a well known fact that Internet changed our lives but it’s too early for me to make such a generalisation.

  7. The Internet includes radio, TV channels, newpappers, games etc. It’s comfortable because everybody can choose anything he or she needs right now. Moreover, nowadays, it is much easier to find out information that is needed now or to find maps with GPS fuctions what wasn’t possible in the past. The Internet that contains a lot of functions of many other devices is very helpful in everyday life – even to find the recipes for new dishes.

  8. In addition to my previous comment:
    I once posted it on fb, but as well I may post it here, because it’s relevant to what I wrote about.

    Funny and short animated video showing the most important moments in a history of the Internet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVTUi6wWN3M
    Check it out if you have spare 4 minutes!

  9. I want to comment especially two slides.

    First, the one titled „History of communication”. In short, it says „Internet – 1990s”. During the lecture i remember it was said that it’s when Internet began. Somewhat true, but very imprecise statement. Network history started decades before and the history of Internet as we know began on 1982, when Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) was standardized. In this time, the concept of a world-wide network of fully interconnected IP networks called the Internet was introduced.
    Exact date when we can talk about the Internet as we talked throughout the course is 6th August 1991, when Tim Berners-Lee (one of the most important persons in development of Internet) published a summary of the project he was working on – the hypertext, one of the fundamentals of how Internet works.*
    It’s the definite date, when the WWW was opened to the public. Shame we haven’t devoted even few minutes to this issue.

    Second slide I want to „answer” to is the last one. Many times in the history of mankind, the emergence of a new medium, a new way of expressing thoughts, communication and producing, storaging, processing and distributing information and knowledge always lead to diametrically changes in the world we live in. Let us recall, for example, the invention of printing and how it changed the way people perceived the world. The same is happening now – yes, the Internet IS changing our whole civilization. And instead of complaining how terrible is this, we should embrace it and work to make it the best for humanity

    * You can find a short article about it here if you’re interested: http://thenextweb.com/insider/2011/08/06/20-years-ago-today-the-world-wide-web-opened-to-the-public/

  10. Internet is just new environment for us as human beings. Thanks to the Internet we can react faster, so we could say that in some way it made some kind of society (I’m not sure if civilization). I would probably call us like Manuel Castells did – the network society.

  11. Well, the whole issue is complicated.

    On the one hand, ‚nothing is new’ online. The hypertextual structure of the web finds its equivalents in proto-hypertexts (such as the Bible!), the way people communicate could be seen as (almost) always the same (the medium would be the only thing in which they differ from each other), and even the internet users’ behavior is often described in rather traditional terms of tribalism or exchange of goods.

    On the other hand, online communication is probably qualitatively different from the other modes of people’s contacting each other. Henry Jenkins’s convergence culture theory (although criticised) shows how the internet users create whole ‚societies’ focusing on particular goals, using the opportunities given by the web which could not have been used before. Additionally, the fact that we are surrounded by different devices we use anytime we need creates a kind of complicated network of relations in which not only people, but also these devices and the Internet itself are ‚actors’. It seems rather special when we compare it to the other types of civilisation and communication.

    All things considered, I would argue that Internet creates a new civilization, using the well-known elements of the previous ones.

  12. Thanks to the development of the Internet and technology people’s communication has improved but it does not have to mean that the Internet is a tool that creates new civilisation. The Internet is just a space that allows people to communicate with each other and gain some information as it plays a similar role to the one of radio or television in the past. However it allows its users to choose what kind of news they want to read or listen to, it does not impose anything upon the society. Of course, there are people who will create their new identities online and live there as it was reality. So maybe to some extent there is new civilisation of people who basically do everything online and find it hard to live without Internet, because their whole life is based online, their are not able to function offline.There are many logical reasons for our society to be called the network one. However,there are still many people who does not use the Internet and thinking that the Internet forms a new civilisation is far too beyond. It just improves and somehow organizes the one of mass media. The Internet is more complex media through which people are able to communicate than television. It is a collection of the variety of other media in a new form, a space where almost everything is accessible, at least it seems to be.

  13. Increasingly, much of the public believe they are being deliberately misinformed, deceived and manipulated by the information coming from government, from elected officials, and from political groups. multiple perspectives – including media bias, Internet and other new media, talk radio, the pundit class, economics,.We should really learning to distinguish the trustworthiness of political claims and of information they receive through the media.

  14. Attitudes toward expansion of the Internet are divided among people. Many consider growing usage of it as something good because it makes our lifes more convenient, for other it’s bad they point out that as the Internet rises we tend to spend more and more time browsing it and eventually lead more of our lifes online than in reality, maybe even it’s creating a new kind of civilisation concentrated on online world.
    Since the beginning people needed to communicate with each other and have been working on inproving this comunication. That’s why the telegraph, telephone and Internet were developed. When we look at applications that improve our comunication with others we see, that they are just improved versions of old prototypes, texts are like telegraphs, emails like letters and so on. Now you don’t have to send postcard from your holidays, to ever single family member, you just send them Snapchat or message and that’s it.
    Humans are social creatures, we cannot live alone, we need to share our experiences and feelings, to grow up and sociolise. On one side Internet is giving us opportunity to share everything with everyone and get some feedback from people around the world, it shortens the distance and helps to keep in touch. For many it’s the only way to overcome shyness and carry on any relations with people. That’s when Internet becames an addiction and relationship with it a problem.
    There is also another curious matter, what is going to happen with traditional press. So far some newspapers canceled their physical editions, and next are going to do so. Reason is easy. When anything happenes, Internet, radio and TV can share the news quickly, but press, needs to be written, editored, printed and delivered to the customer, it takes more time, and that’s one of reasons why newspapers are slowly dying out.
    In my oppinion Internet is not creating a brand new civilisation, it’s just changing our lifestyle. In the past peope took all their knowledge about world from books, radio, TV and newspapers. Development of Internet caused evolution of those medias, and made them more convenient. Now you don’t have to carry radio, TV, newspaper or book with you, because all of those things can be replaced by smartphone or tablet.

  15. In the past when Tv and the radio were common, people didn’t have choice about what they wanted to hear. The radio and TV gave information to the people, many messages from the Journalist and state authority BUT ordinary Mr. Smith hadn’t influence of what he had watched/listen. Right now people on websites can choose what they want to read, watch, listen – about subject which is interesting for them.

  16. Not sure if we have truly left the era of industrialization and moved forward. I think the whole concept of it being the „information age” is a stretch, there has been plenty of progress and changes to everyday life but nothing to reach a new „stage” or „plateau” yet, but I feel telecommunications are simply the tools transitioning us to such a new era in the foreseeable future

  17. Nowadays people are evolved and become more electronically dependent . In my opinion , there ra two sided of a coin as this is a step in progress ! This is obviously more comfortable today to get everything in a moment on your screen . We are interconnected and of course that is really beneficial for us and for different spheres of our life . But , it is a pity , that from the childhood we are very obsessed with all new IT Technologies. For example , I can’t even imagine to live a week without my devises and without the Internet. I don’t have access to my studies. I am now exploring the we pages to get some information in short form . It is changed from the time when students had to visit library , read long articles / book and make their own consequences .

  18. It seems to me like the listed changes in social structure were usually tied to (broadly understood) technological advancements and vice-versa – the technology to sustain larger population (through food production and medicine) required, and benefited from, feudal structure to govern larger number of people; press, propaganda and later radio enabled control of the masses of the industrial and post-industrial eras. Television, together with the older media, served, and still (though it’s role is slowly diminishing) continues to serve as the means not only of entertainment, but also of „keeping the populace up to date” thus enabling it to participate in the democratic system of it’s country, while also supporting particular political parties and being tailored towards their supporters (I know I’m being awfully general, and what I’m saying concerns only the western world, but that’s what I feel like the general trend is – that is, the trend in the better developed part of world unaffected by communism). Although the internet seems to be ideally suited to further the democratisation, it doesn’t feel like it’s advent is really co-occurring with any large development in the socio-political structure of the society. Of course, we’re communicating more and easier than before and have absurdly easy access to nigh on unlimited amounts of information, we’re also spied on more than ever and the web has made it’s impact on the economy, but it sort of feels to me like all those changes are superficial, and the general structure of society and politics itself has not changed that much in the last 10-15 years. It may be that the ever accelerating technological advancement has actually outrun the social development, and the changes caused by the internet will just come out to the surface in the years to come, or that the state of the world nowadays is just so settled that it is hard for it to move – an issue, that the technology has no regard for, since it is always moving forward (or of course, that I’m just blind to the changes that are occurring right now).

  19. It’s to early to make a diagnosis if the Internet created any new civilisation. Radio and TV indeed changed human conciousness, but they didn’t really influenced peoples’ most essential values, like love, friendship, family, health. To me, same thing goes out with Internet. I can’t agree with Baudrillard, that the Web turns reality to hyperreality…reality is still there, it’s just more enhanced, but still there are people who dont use PCs, smartphones and they live happy lives.In the end, we can argue about the impact the Internet has, but we can do nothing about it. We can’t change the direction in which human history goes. We can just observe, complain and make a diagnosis…and as I said in the beginning, it is too early to do that

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more, plus, in that whole debate we keep on forgetting, that our discussion only concerns a percentage of human population, living in metropolies and/or with access to computer/ smartphone/ Internet connection. I sometimes feel like people tend to forget how privileged they are and waste time on nonsense.

  20. I would agree with Maciej Jędryszek, as I don`t think that our new generation „Generation of P” would imagine the life without the Interner, basicly without social networks, as it is a very crucial thing of our everyday life. Mostly from those web-sites we know what is going on. I would say that if we lose that information that we are getting everyday from networks we will go into depression and for the first time will not know what to do in your spare time.

  21. Should we comment here, or on the blog? First, I’d like to point out that it is hard to speak about the whole „new” society/ civilisation. The social media hype and Internet literacy is characteristic to last two, maybe three generations, which leaves the rest of the society what, in some way left behind? Also, more and more people notice the distractions that use of new technologies and social media brings with and consciously resign of using them- call them hipsters for going back to analogue and old Nokia phones, but maybe they just value their time more. Second, some parts of the society, mostly young, in their twenties or thirties, become more and more aware about the content they receive, and, what is the most important part, they create. What Debord said about the society of spectacle, was more applicable in 60s and 70s or 80s, but with time and technological progress we era becoming more conscious about data around us, about the content created and about our own agency in it. In many cases this issue is strictly individual so I dont want to generalize, but that is just my humble opinion.

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