Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Again on Generational Differences

I think I am a bit confused by the claim that any person who knows how to program would be less in touch with the traditions of a people than those who don’t. This statement to me sounds a bit too broad and overreaching to actually be made. Why necessarily would someone who knows how to program be more out of touch with his indigenous traditions than any other member of a marginalized community? Is it because he is dealing with a medium that is not natural to that community? Who’s to say that that same person isn’t one of the people who does the carvings as well? This statement seems very very problematic to me.

I think the other thing I was questioning in this post was what was meant by the word “tradition” and things being in and out of tradition. Is tradition being used in a contemporary sense of tradition, or an “old world, old ways” sense of tradition? The internet was not always in the traditions of the United States or “Western” culture, yet it sounds like people are acting like it is. Also, I would challenge the validity of these statements without exposure to the web from the point of view of other cultures and areas of the world. I think we are being a bit closed minded and only judging these uses and traditions from our own limited experience with the web and how the 15-25 year olds of the United States use it.

I do however see an interesting point in that the programmers and builders of websites and groups in other countries, like Srinivasan’s example of the Tamil movements being technologically promoted and funded by Canadian Tamils and others, could be possibly out of touch with the Tamils in their native area, but I can’t make that statement just because I haven’t done that type of research.

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