No title specified
The critical examination of new digital technologies, their connection to human communities, their use as learning tools, and their place in a "knowledge society" cannot proceed fruitfully without reconsidering the core concepts of social informatics, like data, information, knowledge or even wisdom. As digital technologies and their human users become the change agents in so many aspects of our domestic, working and public lives, one must closely re-read -- through the critical frames of genealogical, semantic, or conceptual interrogation - to review what these core concepts imply. This questioning is important, because these terms have acquired uncritical, naturalized, or even dangerous meanings, while they circulate as "common knowledge" in informationalizing economies and societies. It is clear that the uses of these core concepts more often constitute a misuse, or applications that are amiss, wrong, bad or even ill-suited. And, such misuse, leads not only to confusion, but also to severe communicative malfunctions, as they become essentially ideological terms. Doubts about this "common knowledge" of digital technology, then, must be expressed as one surveys the impact of new informatic technologies in a "knowledge economy" or "technological society.
Keywords: data networks, information science, knowledge economy, online communities, technology studies, social informatics
Dr Tim Luke
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Tim Luke's areas of research specialization include environmental and cultural studies as well as comparative politics, international political economy, and modern critical social and political theory. He teaches courses in the history of political thought, contemporary political theory, comparative and international politics.
During 1996, he was named Visiting Research and Teaching Scholar at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, and in 1995 he was the Fulbright Professor of Cultural Theory and the Politics of Information Society at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. He has continued teaching courses online for Victoria University's School of English, Film and Theatre Studies from 1998-2001.
He serves on the editorial board of Organization and Environment, New Political Science, Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Telos, International Political Economy Yearbook, and Post-Communist Cultural Studies with Penn State University Press. He has also served as an editorial board member with Journal of Politics.