Thursday, February 11, 2010

Roland Barth

Of all the readings, Roland Barthe's caught my attention because I was able to see most clearly how it relates to the real world. In the same vein of Tom Friedman "The World is Flat", the internet has become the great equalizer. It has allowed people with only a laptop to make a profound impact globally. Barthes sums this up nicely, writing "Bolter, Drexler, McCorduck, and Zuboff all contend that postmodern mode of communication (electronic writing, computer networks, text-linking systems) can destabilize social hierarchies." Like Professor Chun said in lecture, the internet is a massive force unable to be regulated by traditional higher-ups such as the government or big business.
Barthes continues revering the new power of the internet, writing "
Electronic information may be rapidly duplicated, transmitted, and assembled into new knowledge structures." The same way traditional hierarchies will be re-assembled, knowledge structures will undergo the same transformation. The most important aspect of this transformation is who supplies the information. No longer will intellectuals and academics be responsible for assembling our collective knowledge, but anybody who mearly has a blog, has edited a Wikipedia page, or uploaded a picture to Flickr.

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