Excerpt from Manuel Castells by jonbailey
February.10.2009, 3:46 pm
Filed under: Networks, Studio Talk, Theory

After reading Manuel Castells, Informationalism, Networks, and the Network society, I’ve decided to post a few excerpts relating to the project at hand. The text can be found on the Box.net widget on the lefthand bar.

They can reconfigure according to changing environments, keeping their goals while changing their components.
They can expand or shrink in size with little disruption [to the whole].
Because they have no center, and can operate in a wide range of configurations, they can resist attacks to their nodes and codes, because the codes of the network are contained in multiple nodes, that can reproduce the instructions and find new ways to perform.

…the network is the unit, not the node

…it is because of available information and communication technologies that the network society can deploy itself fully, transcending the historical limits of networks as forms of social organization and interaction.

Under the informational paradigm the capacity of any communicating subject to | on the communication network enables people and organizations with the possibility to reconfigurate the network, according to their needs, desires, and processes. Yet (and this is fundamental) the reconfigurative capacity for each one depends on the pattern of power present in the configuration of the network.

…we may say that the most important influence in today’s world is the transformation of peoples minds. If it is so, then the media are the key networks, as the media, organized global ologopolies and their distributive networks, are the primary sources of messages and images that reach peoples minds.

The free sharing of knowledge and discovery is the essential mechanism by which innovation takes place in the information age (and probably earlier societies). And since innovation is the source of productivity, wealth and power, there is a direcct relationship between the power of sharing and the sharing of power. So, networking for the sake of networking, ready to learn from others and to give them what you have, could be the culture of the network society.

Computers in the school are only as good as the teachers are. And teachers cannot do much unless the organizational set up of the school transcends the disciplinary bureaucracies of the information age.


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