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  Issue 17  Views

ZORAN KOSTOV

Internet, its Implication and Our Public

The global introduction of the new, information-communication generation of technological achievements in people’s everyday life, in most of the cases and almost everywhere in the world is followed in an affirmative context. The communication tool called Internet, the popular name for the global publicly accessible information network which unites different opportunities, is most often considered to be cyber panacea which is going to deal with a great number of problems of the so-called real world in the short run.

However, on a theoretical level, for years already, there has been an extensive debate between the utopian, optimistic visions of the so-called techno-fundamentalists and the distopian, skeptic attitudes of the so-called neoludits. Besides the indisputable advantages and contributions from the new technologies application, the second ones have succeeded in imposing a kind of a global agenda with accompanying effects, negative consequences and so-called iatrogenic illnesses – various kinds of implications on Internet. These implications are of potentially big influence on the 21st century individual and the society.

Understanding these implications asks for establishing an identification matrix for the new phenomena inspired by the information-communication technologies. Its elementary application recognizes a lot of global trends: information and knowledge become a critical resource for the production and the information age development, the traditionally organized space at some places is transformed into a space of flows, also, the traditionally organized material world of atoms is transformed into a virtual world of lives. Thus, there is cybernation of the real world: a great number of life activities move to the cyber space.

Simply, from all parts of this planet there is information for rising of the so-called third wave, based on mind, instead on the force. At the same time it offers decentralization, demassification, dispersion and flexibility of the production which is less dependent on space and time and which can happen anytime, anywhere. There is a new class or knowledge elite established. Regardless of whether it is called cognitariat, meritocracy or it is personalized in the term symbolic analysts, it is in advantage of the capability to face vanishing the standard beliefs about space and time, the community and individual, the real and the virtual. This method which seems to be abstract is taught at the world recognized universities and presents only two elements – its own mind and quick access to any part of the world. With help from the networks established by the information technology, it provides the cognitariat absolute presence and simultaneity of the business operations it initiates, the social events which accompany it and the cultural expressions which match it.

Translated in everyday experience language, the Internet’s basic characteristics – open access, global range and users’ control – conquer the world. It is caused by the implications of the virtual identity and virtual communities, it widely debates Internet as a global public sphere and the chances for cyber democracy which result from that, while the new, online economy, becomes its paradigm. All this, opens the question of Internet’s ruling and regulation – regulation of the contents and the freedom of expressing in the network, privacy, intellectual capability, cyber criminal and jurisdiction on the cyber space, and here are also the studies of a specific threat to the information gap, with simultaneous information saturation.

All these global processes from the Macedonian frustrated reality have so far been treated as meaningless. The country is stuck between elementary security and political issues, the economy is in crazy search for easy and undeserved profit, and the civic society is burdened with inter-ethnical issues. There is not awareness for the implications of the new information-communication technologies, so the necessary steps, to which almost no one in the country pays attention, are to be taken right with the general public as a target group. Organizing informal education for the so-called Internet public, along with taking an initiative for preparation of the necessary legislation which is going to cover the activities in the cyber space on a national level, are some of the high priority activities. Thus, the NGOs in Macedonia have another challenge to face, another space to conquer. When finally the political and security issues are going to be off the everyday life agenda, we will like to see and hear what is going on in the advanced world. In order to prevent it to go the other side of the information gap, we should act right now.

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