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AFRIK-IT  May 1996

AFRIK-IT May 1996

Subject:

Re: Internet influence on rural development

From:

Valerie Bruce <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List

Date:

Sat, 4 May 1996 16:36:14 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (76 lines)

>>  Abongwa Ndumu wrote:
>>
>> >Although  I am familiar with western culture, I do not promote (or demote)
>> >western culture. I promote African Culture/Way of life and surely the
>> >Internet is one of many forms of media.
 
Valerie Bruce wrote:
 
>> It is almost totally Western dominated.
 
Nemo wrote:
 
>Valerie, I think you missed his point that the Internet is just the
>medium. Your compatriot McLuhan notwithstanding, the medium is not the
>whole message. And in this case, it is not one way like broadcast or
>publishing. You can get to my homepage just as easily as to that of
>AT&T, and I can send an e-mail just as easily as Bill Gates. It makes
>no sense to say it is dominated by anything, Western or other. It is
>dominated by whatever information you choose (or happen to) to
>receive.
 
I see your point.  True, internet use is not one way. And anyone can put up
a web page in any language. Question is, how many people could/would read it?
 
Western domination of the internet:
 
- English is the most widely-used language; the media tells us that the
internet is utilized primarily in the West   (this will likely change in xxx
decades)
- at present the people using the internet are primarily  Westerners, with
Western values such as freedom of expression, privacy, and individualism
- some Westerners propose that these values, highly regarded in the West as
fundamental human rights, be "exported" throughout the internet - that
everyone in the world has  rights to privacy, freedom of expression, and the
individual pursuit of ........regardless of one's own cultural views
-involves the emerging use of the internet by Western businesses to sell
their products - this will escalate.
 
 If you subscribe to mailing lists of Africans, and go to
>African web pages and USENET groups, then you could think the net is
>dominated by Africans.
 
Can you give us names/addresses of African mailing lists and USENET groups,
and African URLs?  I'd like to take a look and see just how different they
are - do they reflect Western culture, or African?
 
>> I've heard music from various African countries, and enjoy it very much.
>> What I've heard, however, is a mixture of African and Western music.
 
>Western music... let's see, you mean like Rock and Roll, Blues, Hip
>Hop, Jazz, Reggae? Look for the roots, and they invariably lead to
>you-know-where.
 
Yes, but my point is that African music has been influenced by the West.
The music you refer to is not the original African music, but African
rhythms (I'm no expert on this) combined with other rhythms and sounds,
African music  modified by  Westerners.  Today African musical groups play
this Westernized version.  It sells in the West.
 
 In fact, there is no better example of the potential
>cultural impact of Africa than the music you hear all over the world.
 
This is the best example of African cultural  impact on the world?  Most
people aren't aware of the origins of jazz, for example.  Even if they did,
what does it matter?  Fact is, it's regarded as Western music.
 
>Personally, I have absolutely no worry that with a two way medium like
>the Internet, Africans can teach the world a few things as well as
>learn. Western domination is no concern.
 
I'm sure Africans can teach us many things.  So let me know about the
African mailing lists/newsgroups and web sites (English only, please).
 
Valerie Bruce
[log in to unmask]

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