Lectures / 04/05/2009 7:30 pmCommunication?
Better than nothing – sustainably good? The digital North-South divide
The digital divide between North and South that can be observed in the establishment of worldwide networks appears on closer examination to be simply another variant of the century old divisive factor “under¬de¬velopment” translated into the terminology of the information society. The reminder frequently articulated in the North about not forgetting the South in creating a networked globe is largely irrelevant. According to all available statistics the digital divide will doubtlessly aggravate significantly the notorious gap between the North and the South. Expectations as to the probable positive consequences of global networking in economic, social and cultural terms need to become more realistic. Catch phrases such as the “global knowledge society” or the computer that is “affordable for everyone” conceal all too easily risks that are difficult to calculate. From what we know today there will be a noticeable difference in the quality of the networks in metropolitan areas on one hand and in rural areas on the other. and the question needs to be asked whether “better than nothing” is good enough in light of the required sustainability.