Thursday, November 6, 2008

On the Trail of Emergence

As the Python sketch said long, long ago: "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!" By definition, future forms and practices will be unexpected, i.e., inexplicable from our perspective now. One reason--technologies, behaviors, ideas, social relationships will combine in unforeseen ways and result in some novel assemblage. This semester, we're on the trails of these sites of emergence in my "information age cultures" class as we plumb the depths of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in East Asia. By looking at the flow of new technologies and concomitant social practices in Korea, Japan and China, we can, perhaps, tease out (yet not predict) the emergence of new forms in the U.S. It's not that U.S. practice will ineluctably follow on the tails of East Asia (although this has often been the case), it's that those different social and cultural perspectives suggest the possibility of future differences here . . .

Anyway: check out our messy, messy ning site, "Information assemblages."