As I was walking through the narrow Drury lane, my dreamy eyes wandered on to a little interesting shop that was selling away loads of used books. Out of my intemperate affection for books, I curiously popped in to see if I could find a book that I may like to flirt with.
As I wandered in the little confines of the charity shop, my eyes fell on to a cream colour book on the top shelf. As I walked closer to it, I saw the words, Adolf Hitler. As some one who is a bit of a sucker for biographies and autobiographies, I wondered if Hitler is someone who I can flirt with? I could not resist the temptation to see if there was a different perspective on his life. One different from his own that was presented in Mein kampf
I found myself flirting with John Toland’s fascinating account of Adolf Hitler. Although much has been written about Hitler, he is a man who remains a creature of conception, an enigmatic evil who makes me wonder about the consequences of an intemperate obsession for power.
What would happen if we have more of them in the Nuclear era? Scary! Wouldn’t you think? Think!
“Is it possible in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another? We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close can we come to that person’s essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?” Read More
I am reading yet another though provoking and spell binding work by Haruki Murakami. It is called Kafka on the Shore. It is a spell binding and deeply addictive book. It is thought provoking, interesting and intense. This is perhaps the hallmark of Haruki Murakami’s work – always providing a way to look into the deepest annals of the self, providing a way to venture into the unknown self.Read More
The diffusion of the Internet is one of the most rapid and extensive of any advanced technology in history. Like any widely adopted technology, the Internet is not just technical, but also involves social, political, and economic dimensions.” (Wolcott and Goodman, 2003; 1-2) Read More
I ended up having this brief conversation. It was pointless. I didn’t want to. But, I did!
Someone: I think the world is loosing human connection. We should stop connecting in much more humane ways and stop connecting in plastic artificial ways. We are connecting in ways, which are disconnecting people and taking human connection away. People are loosing touch.
Media and Communication technologies like Television, Radio, Internet and Telecommunications are converging together and are fast becoming the utilitarian tool of the masses. They are making people more connected and bringing them closer. “The recent expansion of global access to voice-telephony has almost been violent. During the 1990’s, wireline phone access shot upward; while, increasing from a tiny base as recently as 1990, one billion mobile phones were in use by 2002” (McChesney and Schiller; 17) “The Internet is increasingly becoming a part of our media and telecommunication systems, The relatively recent phenomenon of blogging or Web Logging, (the process of maintaining a personal journal on the web, which can be accessed by any one any where in the world with an access to the internet or the world wide web), has been growing at a phenomenal pace too. A blog tracking real time search engine, which monitors what is going on in the world of web logs, called Technocrati, claims to be monitoring over 34.3 million sites and 2.3 billion links, with about 70,000 new blogs being created a day – that’s about one a second, 700,000 posts daily or about 29,100 blog updates an hour”. ‘Blog’ – What was till recently a typing error has now become an organic phenomenon, multiplying and proliferating across the globe at an unprecedented pace. But still does Global mean Universal? Think !
“The Hindu”, India’s national news paper has written about the importance of blogging. (http://www.thehindu.com/mp/2006/03/18/stories/2006031803670400.htm.)
This article underlines the adaptive co-existence of new technologies with the old. Can the Internet – websites, blogging etc, completely phase out older, more traditional forms of media like Newspapers, Television and Radio ? I doubt it. On the emergence of every new technology, doomsayers and cynics habitually predict that the new will end the old. But such simplistic versions amuse me. As technology enables newer, cost effective platforms of communication, it is also creating a complex dynamic media environment in which the state of equilibrium is very short livedIn the constant process of media evolution, the traditional and the new forms of media adapt and morphing themselves according to the demands of the time. They contradict and complement each other. A constant symphony of digital revolution destabilises the ephemeral equilibrium. Digital revolution is changing the character of the globe. Wonder what the future will hold?
“The ‘Diffusion of Innovation theory’ helps explain how innovations diffuse through a social system”(Rai et al, 1998; 98). This is because “the value of adopting some innovation increases along with the number of adopters and promotes diffusion across a population”(Rai et al, 1998; 98-99). Therefore, in defining ‘diffusion’, this essay borrows from Rogers (1983), who defines ‘Diffusion of innovation’, as “the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among members of a social system”, and combines it with utility theory which “suggests that users subscribe to a technology only if it provides a net positive utility”(Rai et al, 1998; 100). Therefore, ‘diffusion’ is to be understood as dependant on “the concrete application and use of available modern technologies”(IBRD, 2001; 101) in specific social contexts because “communication flows intersect with the situated contexts within which activities are carried out in a knowledgeable and creative way” (James, 2000; 199). “Thus, the rate of diffusion is determined by the size of the adopter and potential-adopter populations at any given time”(Rai et al, 1998; 100). But, “achieving critical mass depends on the utility of the technology for the early users”(Rai et al, 1998; 100)
The Internet is a relatively recent means of digital communication and information distribution, which has enabled a quicker, almost instantaneous, means of communication around the world. However, it is not merely a technical expression. “The Internet is above all a source of Information” (IBRD, 2001; 93), which is profuse and prolific, embracing an extraordinary variety and diversity.
“Globalisation” has undoubtedly changed the face of the world. Enabled by a massive surge in user-friendly communication and technological innovations, the process of “Globalisation” has enabled many a things, which were, just a few years ago, considered impossible. It has indeed changed the means, the method and medium in which individuals, corporations and governments, the world over, communicate, contact and interact with each other.
It was indeed a wonderful experience to lecture at a place where I was once a student. Hyderabad Central University, where I had done my first Masters degree in Anthropology, is a distinguished academic institution, which offered me some rather unique experiences. I enjoyed learning from accomplished academics and I was truly delighted when I was invited by Prof.Sudhakar Rao to deliver a lecture at the same department.I delivered a lecture on the role of Information Communication Technology and the ‘Digital Divide’. These are a few highlights from the notes.
This is the text of the speech that I had given at Raj Ghat, when I was awarded with the Karmaveer Puraskaar.
This is the text of the Keynote address that I had delivered at Microsoft on how each one of us can make a difference by doing small things that are with in our capacity.