Democracy and Government Online Service

From: Architext
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 13:50:27
>>
>>the "tool" is never just a product we use, it also is "producing,"
>>actively, a process which transforms not only the way we
>>handle the world through this tool, but also the way in which
>>we understand the world through this tool.
>
> Thanks, Frank! - The tool both as a 'product' and as actively 'producing'
> produce (!) this question for me: Do we leave to the tool to be let over
> to  itself, producing actively by itself?
i would say that for any tool goes the saying: GIGO, garbage in, garbage out. ultimately any tool depends on human input, first in its creation, then in its operation, however remotely that is. right now, for the internet-tool, i only see people "putting things into it," for other people to see. i don't really believe that the net somehow will acquire consciousness...
>What do I know about the balance
> between the 'producing tool' and me who (sometimes) are supposed to be the
> 'actively producing user'?
ah! the relations between user and tool are manifold and very intricate (even for a tool like a hammer, simply hammering a nail, simultaneously building houses, giving rise to sedentary communities, road paving between those settlements and all kinds of social customs regarding living in a house that the hammer made possible...). i don't think that the "tool as product" and the "producing tool" can be separated. naming the tool in these two different ways merely points to different ways of seeing the various processes that surround a certain tool.

what do you know about the relationship between tool and user? nothing and everything. i would urge everyone to think, now and again since you can't do that all day or you'd go nuts, about the implications of the tool they use. you're blessed with a brain, language and cultural/scientific rules to think about what you are doing, why not scrutinize the very mundane tools you use every day in an organized fashion. tell us what you find!

the beautiful thing is, a lot of people already do this on a fairly regular basis. it's one of the reasons we're here, on Cybermind... trying to find out how this thing called the internet works, how it works for us, what it does to the world we live in.

> And also this: How to find out if a 'producing tool' is 'democratic'?
it is my firm belief (and i think Renata said something to the same extent a few posts ago) that a tool is neutral "an sich." it is only when the tool is used to further a certain political agenda that we can start to speak about it being _used_ democratically or not. however, the political context in which a tool is being used can certainly start to define a tool and thus when one uses this tool it produces a certain politicized effect in us. mind you! this is because we have learned what this tool is, how it ought to be used etc, in a political context. "ought to" is a strong cultural politic, whether we link it to nation-state-politics or not.

i hope this helps a little... personally, i haven't figured out what the internet is about yet... *grin* but i like it!


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