I was in Algiers last week end, in a delegation of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region (South East of France) invited by the Willaya and the Etablissement “Art et Culture”.
The subject was “Book and multimedia”, a cooperation being engaged between the two regions about local libraries and the spaces of public access to internet. My lecture was about ‘ the cultural adoption of information technologies”.
Speaking about the new situation of internet, Geert Lovinck has recently spoken of “balkanisation”. Balkanisation is depreciative and sounds like a regret. But the fact is clear: there is no more ONE Internet; we must speak of the internetS.
Lovinck says: ” Ordinary users just aren’t that obsessed with what is happening in the Anglo-Saxon part of the Net. Whereas, technically speaking, the Internet still is a global medium we see an increasing ‘Balkanization’ happening, centred around language clusters (and so much nation states). We’re talking about large, distinctive archipelagos with tens of millions of users. Just think of the Japanese and Korean cyberspaces. The vastest growing of them all, the Chinese Net, is literary walled. But how much do we know what’s going on there? …”.
And how much do we know about Algerian internet?
“Adoption” is the term coined by Bernard Stiegler. It means the user(s) makes a choice and this choice expresses a singularity. I like also the French word “appropriation”: “approprié” means “appropriate”, “relevant”, but “s’approprier” means “to steal”.
Digital singularity is quite clear (not so clear) in rich countries, when opposed to market-driven uses. I hope I have been clear about why the information technologies are and become more and more cultural ones. But I have no recipes about their adoption by groups or societies. And the necessary idea of a critic of digital practices is not easy to translate.
Passing from the Internet to the internets is an effect of the “global war”. Of course, The Internet, and “information society” and so on, were products of story telling, a not-so-subtle form of soft power. But the new story is worse. The information society must be defended for good principles as freedom, tolerance, open-mindedness. In any case, adoption means you choose something else.
Algiers is a splendid town and the reception of Redouane Mohammedi, Chafia Benelkadi and all the persons of Art et Culture also was splendid.
I recommend the restaurant “Lous Pescadous”, in Ain Benian (La Madrague), for fishes of course.
Complete interview of Geert Lovinck for Liberation here: