Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Expression of Self

In his paper “Community Networking as Radical Practice,” (posted on the Journal of Community Informatics – see link on right), Garth Graham touches on two components of the change that arises from the increased networking capacity of humans in both their immediate geographic community and online community: He suggest an increased awareness of the facets of self and how these facets are discussed:

“Self-determination of identity, or the actions that increase the capacity of an individual or a community to decide what is inside and outside the boundary between self and other, allows for control of the choices of how self relates to the wider world around it. In other words, it ensures that, just as in Internet Protocol, any-to-any connections in the formation of identity can always occur. This is because the node in the social network, the self, can then reconfigure its message router default settings at will.

We are no longer lonely and afraid in a world we never made. We are in as many worlds as we can imagine. There is nothing absolute or complete about identity. Our being in the many worlds we can inhabit dynamically alters the way those worlds feel. We learn continuously within the experience of relationship who we, in the present moment, are. We (in) form our worlds, and they in turn (in)form us.”

This increased self-awareness brings greater touch to sensitivity of and ability to understand other’s worlds – quite valuable in contributing common understanding of the various plights in our society – enabling a life-style of what some employed in an English-language publication in Frankfurt, Germany, termed “Multi-culti” – the ability to cross socioeconomic or other cultural boundaries with ease.

“What has deepened is relationship. In society structured by autonomous individuals and machine-based agents, we gain, should we chose to use it, increased capacity in the expression of the self. We gain what the people of the book would call, "The connection to a human mind and heart that we only experience when we enter into a world that someone else has created...

Except that now, as authors of our fate, we are that someone else. As the novel writers once were, we are now quite able to proliferate"


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