Where we read: Informationalism, networks and the network society: a theoretical blueprint

To be honest, these readings sometimes feel like a chore, yet other times are actually quite interesting.
This week, it’s actually quite interesting. In this reading Castells interprets networks in many ways.
He defines ‘network society’ as “a society whose social structure is made of networks powered by microelectronics-based information and communication technology”.

This widens my span of knowledge in regards to networks as i always thought of that term being very broad, and i’m right but in other ways I am not. Castells states that “a network is a set of interconnected nodes”, when i read this sentence my first thought was “what the heck are nodes?” however, being such a smart cookie, Castells define the term ‘node’ as the point where the curve intersects itself.

Which instantly makes me think that a network may look  a little something like this:

According to Castells, “a network is defined by the program that assigns the network its goals and it’s rules of performance”. His idea that networks work a binary logic which is made up of inclusion and exclusion was pretty much new to me, but understandable. He words things in a simple matter in which, someone who know snothing about networks can read about it and understand.

This reading made me realise that the network society wasn’t ‘just’ created, but has always been around.  If Castells is right about the fact that networks constitute the fundamental patterns of life. Then wouldn’t it mean that networks has always been here with us? right before technology was created.

If we were in a world without ‘networks’- that is if the word didn’t even exist, how would we connect now?

I find myself repeating this alot, but, imagine a world without things like facebook, msn, telegraphs, phones, mobile phones, wireless internet etc…

what do you think you would do?

For one, i think i’d go crazy, but then hey, our ancestors survived didn’t they?
 Maybe, it’s because we were brought up in a place were the ‘network society’ are completely a normal and a taken-for-granted thing.


    • Lauren M
    • May 4th, 2010

    I think you’re right that networks have always existed, maybe we referred to them less as “networks” specifically. However, I think that nowadays, the emergence of new technologies allows for greater levels of segmentation within these pre-existing networks. Good blog!

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