Round table on the Internet, Privacy and Education
Chairs: Genís Roca
Q: How can we approximate people that shaped their lives “the traditional way” (with books, with intimacy) in this new age? What happens with the digital divide? Sibilia: yes, there is a generational bias, but the market is approaching them (for profit purposes, of course) to get them in the new way of life. And, on the other hand, the connected self, the networked subjectivity is trendy, and valued by society, which also helps in bringing in outsiders. Camps: leapfrogging is possible in certain areas and this is also contributing to bridge some divides.
Q: What happens with the Internet creating new opportunities and spaces of freedom, but also causing a “panopticon effect” where everybody can be watched at, especially by governments, loss of intimacy, etc. Sibilia: not sure that this is the creation of the Internet, but more a strengthening of previous practices. What we are now living is more the consequence of some social fights and achievements of the past, especially those related with the libertarian ethos of 1968. But something went wrong or did not end totally well. A parallelism can be found in Latin America and their different revolutions and counter-revolutions: they also are the aim for a change, for achieving new roles, but with very different outcomes. But they all come from the same root. We are now having serious problems imagining an alternative to capitalism: the market also got networked, and got into some spaces whose entry was forbidden to it: the body, the school, etc.
Q: we have to vindicate a change of paradigm from learning to learning how to learn, how to manage knowledge, how to build one’s own network of people and resources. And this is the role that libraries have always performed and are nowadays focussing more in. Camps: we have to teach how to look for alternative sources of information.
Natàlia Cantó: what lies in between the walls vs. networks dichotomy? Is there a room in between for the urban landscape, for the city? Sibilia: yes, the Benjaminian approach of the flanneur is a very interesting one and it is part of the escape from the walled spaces. But maybe open spaces are the opposite to walled spaces, but what is the opposite, or the complement to the network? How do we scape (or disconnect) the network? Or can’t we? We sure have to thing about that. For instance, the different use of the Network is being done in different protests and demonstrations, which is not exactly the pattern of self-promotion, showing-up or lack of intimacy/privacy which seemed to be the (new) norm.