The Birth of a (Virtual) Nation
Praise the Lord God of all thinks collective! In her infinite and forever appealing way, she has ensured that we are NOT alone. There is a reality of the matrices that blend social and cultural justice activities with very cool information and communication technologies (ICTs).
And it goes by the name of Informatics — that some of us old farts didn’t even know much about until recently.
From my perspective, what’s important is the new identification of this sector. Or what it’s founders call Community Infomatics (CI), the science of data and information storage and management made possible by information and communication technologies and marrying this with all of the wonders of community engagement for good stuff.
(I know it all sounds like something that chops and dices and it sold on early morning TV, but we hope to change this too!)
Community Informatics is, to me, the perfect way to use the knowledge and understanding of the progress that surrounds us and connecting it and all that it captures with EMPOWERMENT justice and activism.
Which, in my mind, is exactly what RadicalNOT is all about: talking about this as it hits the streets of change running at full and powerful speed. So to see that there are others already engaged … well … it’s enough to make a grown man delirious!
But more about my emotional health later. For now I just want to feed you the Wikipedia URL that talks about CI and that lays the groundwork for why I’d call it EI, or EMPOWERMENT INFORMATICS. Here is what one of the summary paragraphs says:
Cultures ensure their growth and survival by continuing the norms and mores that are the bases of their way of life. Communities can use the infrastructure of ICTs as a method of continuing cultures within the context of the Internet and the World Wide Web. Once a cultural identity is defined within the context of these technologies, it can be replicated and disseminated through various means, including the sharing of information through websites, applications, databases, and file sharing. In this manner, a group that defines its cultural identity within the construct of technology infrastructure is empowered to hold valuable exchanges within the spheres of economics, political power, high and popular culture, education, and entertainment. [emphasis added]
RadicalNOT endorses this view wholeheartedly. I love it. It makes my sociological heart go pitter patter!
I encourage you to jump over and take a look at the second discovery that got me pushing my Viagra aside. See the perspective’s manifesto of desires, so to speak, offered by the sector’s lead founding proponent, Michael Gurstein: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_informatics
Gurstein’s piece offers many elements of what this transformation means and why they are so important. We’ll dissect this soon.
In the meantime, start thinking of themes for the celebration party! True and effective impact is in the making, and its name is EMPOWERED INFORMATICS!!