Hofkirchner, W. (2014). Potentials and Risks for Creating a Global Sustainable Information Society. In C. Fuchs & M. Sandoval (Eds.), Critique, Social Media and the Information Society (pp. 66–75). Routledge. http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12708/28541
E193-05 - Forschungsbereich Human Computer Interaction
Critique, Social Media and the Information Society
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This chapter aims at responding to the challenge communities of action like the "Occupy" movements face: given their inclination to fail, can ICTs, in principle, support them to have a lasting impact on society?
The vision of a Global Sustainable Information Society (GSIS) is discussed, the concept of the commons is seen from a broader perspective and connected to the logic of the current crises, the processes of informatisation and informationalisation are differentiated.
The argumentation presented here is a contribution to theoretical foundations of ICTs-and-Society. It makes use of complex thinking and critical-theoretical considerations at the same time. It does not refer to concrete empirical studies or include concrete design suggestions.
Such an approach lays a theoretical basis for empirical generalisations that view the spread of ICTs as quantitaively reinforcing existing social antagonisms, as qualitatively spanning new social antagonisms and as providing the infrastructure for a GSIS as well.
Thus ICTs need to be designed willingly in order to contribute to the establishment of a GSIS, to the reclaiming of the commons, and to be subject to the process of informationalisation.
In assessing the so-called impacts of ICTs, a critical complex systems view can help avoid falling into the traps of either techno-optimism or techno-pessimism and help formulate conditions for meaningful technology, i.e., technology that allows for civilisational progress.