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Network Culture, Essay Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1660

Essay

Network culture entails a series of social aspects that for a long period have gone through transitions throughout the various ages of globalization. Such aspects include cybernetics and thermodynamic, the electronic Ummah and the chaos theory, pen source programming, cellular automata and reality TV among other aspects. Generally the current network culture appears to be characterized by unprecedented profusion of informational output and a great acceleration of information dynamics.

Due to this acceleration and abundance, the absolute overload that constitute the contemporary global culture, there was a necessity to invent a method that could easily take these bewildering variations without being overpowered by it. It is getting very difficult to continue regarding cultural formation as something that is constituted by distinct entities due to the many interconnected systems. Rather, it constitutes an interconnection of networks that does not necessarily have to be technological. Network culture has a tendency of spilling information from its normal flow to other narrow channels making it reach other much more locations (Mitchell, Pg 132). The social media is one of the greatest networks where flow of information can take place within the shortest time possible.

The nature of information in this network culture makes it bounce from channel to channel and medium to medium. As it is decoded and recoded by other local dynamics its form changes into completely something new and different. Various cultural productions are increasingly getting inseparable from the greater information processes establish the spread of words and images. People, children, and adults are all engaging in social media activities hence attaching them greatly to a common informational platform.

Certain features that make it unique from the others characterize the 21st century culture. The manner in which information is handled makes it very easy to handle, store and manipulate at the same time. Information has grown so much immaterial thus triggering certain technological advancements making it possible for information to be stored and transmitted with ease across the various existing networks. The information may be stored in a form of software, music, statistics, projections, words, images, and sounds. There is also a great ease of these information being copied from one source to another. For instance, information that is typed by a person in the US can be downloaded by another from South Africa and be edited without the owner’s permission. Consequently, there is the possibility of new music immediately getting released and people from various parts of the globe get access to it and download. Information can thus be regarded as very shifty but important asset. The information age has greatly influenced the culture today; this is because the entire internet consists of a chain of information on various topics. A larger part of the current network culture is controlled by information power.

The network culture has also brought lots of complexity in information management. The current economy is greatly driven by information, which is a very important aspect. Information as a commodity has created several challenges to the owners as well as the users. The owners and producers encounter very high costs when creating the necessary information, but then they end up lacking the right to distribute their own information. The digital age completely ignores the right of ownership and privacy when it comes to information. Many people have got their personal and private information published online against their wish. Such information may include family history, medical reports, personal Medias such as videos and pictures among others. All these once on the internet are virally spread to various social Medias that thousands and thousands of people access at a given time. There is totally no right to distribute and share once’ information over the electronic media. As a result, people sell very important and valuable information very cheaply causing the owners to run at great losses. Despite all these cases, information is treated as content that needs to be protected and given great consideration, whether it aims at protecting a particular individual, company, or society at large. Consequently, the network culture considers all these normal and business has to proceed normally without any interruption, even as the other cartels try to manipulate every information they get into their own benefits.

This contemporary culture has led to many things that have greatly simplified the nature of communications. In fact, it is very easy to have a relationship with somebody on another different part of the globe vie the modern communication methods like the Skype that offers face to face video chat, or a mobile phone communication that allows people to link with one another easily without any hustle. This is opposed to the earlier cultures where communication was something that could not be affected well over long distances.

In my opinion, I tend to observe that there is acceleration of history and extinction of distances within informational boundaries. It is a nature of transformation that is productive in nature, in that it releases social potentials to continually change the existing cultures. In the light of this, a network culture cannot be easily separated from the network physics and politics that define its existence. All these imply an existence of dynamic information flow.

Internet forms the basic elements of the network culture; however, so many technological components, designs, and principles make it very complex. As new designs of computers are produced, more invention is made on the Web world. There is no central control point of the internet making it a very challenging aspect of this culture. Compared to the first of its kind, the ARPANET was widely used in the US, but in this case, it was mainly used in doing calculations rather than communication. The inception of internet brought into the world a very new concept that took the world to a new level. The big computers that were used initially paved way for the current internet making it easy for the transition. The internet introduced wide network coverage to the social culture. This led to linking people to sharing common informational resources. It thus brought the greatest impact that has ever been felt in any generation. Therefore, the manner in which it was designed makes it typically very challenging to oppose.

Information theory has greatly changed the practices and languages in this contemporary culture. People especially the youths are coming up with a new form of communication and practices, which are uniquely theirs. To the people belonging to the old culture, this may make little sense and meaning, but to individuals who are adopting the modern culture, there is a great understanding and connection of this.

The network culture has also witnessed a shift from the normal time reference; in this case, the Greenwich meridian was always used to determine time across the entire globe. When McLuhan’s idea of global village surfaced, internet time was introduced hence providing universal time to all the internet users. To this extent, internet users can agree on chatting at a given time despite the variation in their time zones. People therefore crowd chat rooms and the various online gaming sites interacting as if they were living close to each other. The planet has been networked and people given a common interaction point from which they can meet and make friends.

Also the internet plays a very important role in network culture. Terranova in her book considers internet as a diagram that supports development of information space which is driven by biophysical tendency. The internet has thus led to development of new cultures such as emails, blogging and web rings (Terranova, Pg 96). At the same time, the network culture has witnessed a time of new economy. Unlike the old economy, the new one has many instances of free labor where people work voluntarily or engage in production of certain programs and software online. At the same time, people tend to wait for longer period to realize the true benefits of their labor. The labor in this case is digital and immaterial greatly confiding with autonomist Marxist suggestions.

The network culture also indicates a great relief from the old type of communications. This new network consists of new network of communication that does not require any form of broadcasting. This has thus eliminated the overdependence on TV and radios in communication. It is a network forum where activities are interlinked to form a common communication network culture. Terranova asserts that there are many segments and informational dimensions that bring together all the elements of the network culture (Terranova, Pg 106). The current culture allows people to a large extent control the nature of information they want. In this sense many people are quickly shifting from the age where they watch programmed channels to an age of selecting their preferred channels and watching them at their preferred times. This implies that sooner or soonest, radios and TVs may lack significance to many people now that the current culture demands people to select whatever they want to view, when and how.

Ideally, network culture commences and ends with the new economy. Most importantly, it is important to note that network culture is not demonstrated in the current or the old culture; rather, it is constituted by occurrences that took place prior to its formation (Jenkins, Pg 38). That means that network culture will move hand in hand with activities that accompany its formation. The future of any network culture will thus resemble its preceding activities that led to its formation. In addition, the network culture has witnessed the emergence of fresh political engagement modes, these are internet organized networks/ movements that are up to support or condemn an act. Many people regard the internet-organized networks as a good source of constitution for the weak and the meek in the society.

Works Cited

Jenkins, Henry. Convergence culture: where old and new media collide. New York: New York University Press, 2009. Print.

Mitchell, William J.. World’s greatest architect making, meaning, and network culture. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2008. Print.

Terranova, Tiziana. Network culture politics for the information age. London: Pluto Press, 2004. Print.

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