Education, Knowledge Economy and Digital Futures
Edited By Michael Peters, Tina (Athlone C.) Besley and Daniel Araya
6. Mobilization Systems: Technologies for Motivating and Coordinating Human Action Francis Heylighen, Iavor Kostov, & Mixel Kiemen 115
• 6 • FRANCIS HEYLIGHEN, IAVOR KOSTOV, & MIXEL KIEMEN Introduction The ubiquitous presence of ICT has spectacularly facilitated all activities that cen- ter on the storage, communication, and retrieval of information. If you want to investigate a particular domain, you no longer need to travel to specialized libraries, spend hours combing through their card catalogs and book racks, borrow the most relevant documents, and finally carry all these pounds of paper home with you to read. Similarly, if you want to widely disseminate your ideas, you no longer need to painstakingly type a manuscript on your typewriter, make photocopies of it, send them by post to various publishers, and hope that you can convince one to invest a lot of money into editing, typesetting, printing, and eventually, a year or two later, distributing it to potential readers. The physical effort needed to retrieve or publish information had one advantage, though: it motivated people to be selective in what they read or communicated. As these obstacles have disappeared, information is now being disseminated virtually with- out restrictions. The most obvious effect is information overload, a form of mental bom- bardment that Shenk (1998) aptly characterized as “data smog,” since it obscures rather than enlightens, while at the same time damages health by increasing stress levels. It is typically accompanied by a barrage of interruptions or distractions caused by incom- ing e-mails, phone calls, text messages, tweets, or “status updates.” Mobilization Systems Technologies for Motivating and Coordinating Human Action b_ch 1 thru 8...
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