New media, politics and society- Second edition
Chapter 6 Public Knowledge
Another (not entirely unrelated) question: is there any authenticity with- out authority? Is a structure of authority necessary for the recognition and validation of authenticity? If (as Jean Baudrillard might suppose) history now appears to have become a depthless, insubstantial image of itself, what then is the status of that commodity which we call knowledge? Where does knowledge reside – and can we still learn from it? Wikipedia Martin Hand (2008: 15) has, amongst others, suggested that the digital age has been greeted with great optimism by its enthusiasts and denounced with equal passion by its detractors: Most commonly, narratives of digital culture imbricate western models of democ- ratization with enthusiastic accounts of information technologies. For some, such technology is instrumental in broader restructurings of modern society, replac- ing structure with f low, state with network, hierarchical knowledge with horizon- tal information […] For others, the use of the term […] ‘digital culture’ is hasty or simple determinism, reifying either information or technology as great levellers, an ideological rhetoric which has the ef fect of glossing an increased penetration and ‘hardening’ of global capitalism. Digital democracy does not, from this perspective, appear to have increased civic or political participation or democratic accountability (although it may give a jaded electorate a sense of such participation and 154 Chapter 6 accountability). Digital and interactive modes of popular entertainment – from the video game to reality television – have not substantially enhanced the agency of the user-consumer (though they may give the impression that they do). Social networking...
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