Monday, June 19, 2006

new social class emerging from the networked workplace

further to my posting earlier re where do you fit in, the following booklet seems of interest:

The Class of the New by Richard Barbrook
Netizens, elancers, cognitarians, swarm-capitalists, hackers, produsumers, knowledge workers, pro-ams... these are just a few of the monikers that have been applied to the new social class emerging from the networked workplace.
In this short book, Richard Barbrook presents a collection of quotations from authors who in different ways attempt to identify an innovative element within society – ‘the class of the new’.
Book downloadable from

hannah arendt

today i feel very creative, which means i am terribly disinclined to sitting through four hours of lectures. i feel i would be better off, and more productive, if i were off on my own, working in my room at home. anyhow, i am already on campus, so...

about hannah arendt. i had never read anything by her, but of course knew of her. when in Berlin I´d taken the photo (above), and recently sat down to browse the web OPAC of the library at UC3M to see what they had. I am now reading the correspondence between Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy between 1949 and 1975; the Spanish edition.

Entre amigas : correspondencia entre Hannah Arendt y Mary McCarthy
1949-1975 / edición, introducción y prólogo de Carol Brightman ;
traducción de Ana María Becciu

It is interesting, for its social commentary, in-between the friendly banter.
Speaking of which, after my most recent blog in Afrikaans sometime in June, I had in fact stumbled across a Ducth/Flemish language blog, where the question "Gaat het Zuid-Afrikaans verdwijnen?" (Will Afrikaans disappear? had been posed. The full blog posting rang as follows:

Oud-president F.W. de Klerk van Zuid-Afrika maakt zich zorgen om het voortbestaan van zijn moedertaal, het Afrikaans. Deze zeer aan het Nederlands verwante taal wordt ernstig bedreigd, zei hij zaterdag tijdens een toespraak in Amsterdam. Steeds meer Zuid-Afrikanen gaan Engels spreken.
Nu nog gebruiken 6 miljoen Zuid-Afrikanen het Afrikaans, eigenlijk verbasterd en door Engels beïnvloed zestiende-eeuws Amsterdams. Dat is 14 procent van de totale bevolking van het land. Maar dit percentage neemt volgens De Klerk af. “Net zoals de Nederlanders en de Vlamingen moeten we strijden onze identiteit te behouden. Maar voor de ‘Afrikaanders’ zal het moeilijker zijn."
Niet alleen blanke Zuid-Afrikanen spreken de taal, ook enkele miljoenen 'kleurlingen'.

Briefly, all of this prompted by SA´s ex-President F.W. de Klerk who had been opining that Afrikaans as language would disappear when on a recent visit to the Netherlands. Apart from the fact generally that politicians always need a cause with which to resurrect (keep afloat) their careers, I had responded as follows (title: afrikaans as taal, sy uitstorwe ):
ek het so pas ´n blog berig geskryf, in afrikaans. dus het ek daarna gaan soek na afrikaanse bronne aanlyn, meer uit pure nuuskierigheid. wel, nou is ek hier by julle blog. twee dinge: ek dink nie afrikaans sal sommer gou verdwyn nie, maar soos welke taal, sal dit een of ander evolusie deurgaan. verder, die gebruik van enige taal handel nie net suiwer oor wie moedertaal sprekers is nie, maar ook oor hoeveel mense dit wel gebruik as, bv. handelstaal. wat julle dan uit die oog verloor met jul syfers hierbo "Niet alleen blanke Zuid-Afrikanen spreken de taal, ook enkele miljoenen 'kleurlingen'." is dat daar talle mense (van alle rasgroepe, as mens nou rêrig so moet dink) Afrikaans in daaglikse handels- of werkskonteks gebruik. ps: afrikaans is nie my moedertaal nie.groetnis,

Subsequently De Klerk had been hospitalised, due to deteriorating health. That however is unrelated to the Afrikaans language issue. That sounds silly to have to say explicitly, but well... I´ve checked news online moments ago, and it is said that he is recovering (

where do you fit in?

first off, some really great city scape photos from the bitter* girls, see

thinking about life online, and considering blogs that i´ve seen, there seem to be, on the face of it, distinctions between bloggers who are in the USA, W Europe, etc. The time spent online is of course conditioned by affordability of connectivity, and this somehow manifests in the behaviour or act of blogging, as expressed in the frequency of doing so. But not only frequency. There seems to be a qualitative difference. Maybe it is that we merely reflect the {digital} environments we are a part of. Qstn: when you stumble across a blog, can you tell, without it´s being spelt out (in a profile, or on the page itself), where the blogger is located?
What this seems to suggest then is that instead of the dichotomy of being in-the-loop, or out-of-it, that there are layers to being wired. So, even if you are connected, it is not that you are in-the-hub/node, or outside of it, but rather that there are degrees of being in-the-hub/node or outside of it. Yes, I was arguing for the latter kind of stratification with my Berlin talk , specifically w.r.t. the information needs of the already-connected in the developing world. What I mean to emphasise this time, here, is the stratification in the wired sphere as well.


it´s what happens when we, almost aimlessly, browse the bookstacks, and when we meander online. also a term used in dog psychology. did you know that? i can´t remember who coined it in the latter sense. in dog-psych world it means redirecting the attention of your dog; so if he/she´s gotten hold of the toe of your favourite shoe (presuming it is not already chewed to beyond redemption) you could re-direct the attention of the dog to chew something which it is okay to chew on i.e. a bone or chew-toy. well, i digress, mostly because today i miss my dogs (Shasta, Yuki, Paquita, Eko) in a big way. custody battles involving kids seem less trying than custody battles involving pets. though, there is no battle to speak of. just some sort of resignation. change topic. for future refence, my serendipitous online browsing activity started with my reading a recent Bruce Sterling post on the nettime mailing list, and from there ending up at a biblio ref list for the book "Everyware: the dawning age of ubiquitous computing" (for which see : The blurb on the website rings as follows (text in bold are my emphasis):

The age of ubiquitous computing is here: a computing without computers, where information processing has diffused into everyday life, and virtually disappeared from view. What does this mean to those of us who will be encountering it? How will it transform our lives? And how will we learn to make wise decisions about something so hard to see?
Join noted writer and critical futurist Adam Greenfield as he explores this new technology and its implications for society, for business, for the way we design spaces and cities - even for the way we relate to each other.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

woensdag, soos baie ander

vandag het ek lus om in Afrikaans te skryf. ek wonder dus, op hierdie oomblik, hoeveel Internetbronne daar wel in Afrikaans is aanlyn. na hierdie blog sal sommige my seker ´n kampvegter vir die taal noem; net soos hulle my as kampvegter vir die "corrida" ook nou mag beskou. ag, wel, "see the worry in my eye". (smile) ek het selde kans om deesdae Afrikaans te gebruik, so ek oefen ´n bietjie hierso. kennis van ´n taal is nooit te versuim nie, dit sonder om te dink aan die redes rondom waarom of hoe die taal geleer is. byvoorbeeld, my moedertaal is Engels. ons het Engels in my ouerhuis gepraat, gegee dat my Ma (wie se nooiensvan "Pearce" is) Engels-sprekend was/is, maar ek het groot geword omring deur Afrikaans-sprekende maatjies. Maar, "no surprises", dit was nie standaard Afrikaans nie. Ook, ek het tot ongeveer die ouderdom van 15 ´n Afrikaans-medium skool bygewoon. Nie deur my eie toedoen nie. Dit was "government-decreed". So, ek is, in alle soorte opsigte, geforseer om Afrikaans te leer. Maar nou ja. Dit was ´n realiteit. Die ander deel van die realiteit is dat dit nooit iets verlore is as mens ´n taal leer nie. By bestek is dit tog ´n goeie ding (hier sonder om die allerlei omstandighede van verdrukking te oorweeg). So, ´n mens se wêreld word altyd verryk met die leer van ´n/enige taal.

ons is amper aan die einde van die akademiese jaar hier in Spanje, dus word ek herinner aan my dae as dosent terug in Suid-Afrika, en dis ´n bietjie van ´n gemors met my kop, want aangesien die akademiese jare nie ooreenstem tussen Suid-Afrika en hier nie, voel dit asof ek miskien in Oktober reeds is (omdat ek gewoonlik ´n "einde van die jaar" gevoel dan het). Maar nou ja, dinkende nou aan my onlangse ervaringe met die "corrida", word ek herinner aan Uys Krige, want ek weet dat hy ietwat van ´n "obsession" met Spanje gehad het. Ook, hy het baie van Federico García Lorca se werke vertaal het vanuit Spaans na Afrikaans. Ook, een van my eerste Spaanse tutors, ´n sekere (ooh, ek onthou haar gesig baie goed, maar naam vergeet ek nou...) Haldane was haar van. Sy´t toentertyd (ongeveer 1996) haar Doktersgraad by UNISA gedoen (en ook ´n tyd by die Universiteit van León in Spanje deurgebring) in Spaanse literatuur en het juis ´n studie gedoen wat gehandel het oor Uys Krige. Dis wat ek onthou. In elk geval, ek moet nou gaan. Ek´s uitgeput met dink in Afrikaans :)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

corridas y cantantes

It´s been a week of Fiestas Patronales here in Getafe, Madrid. It is a religious happening, but bookended by all sorts of entertaining/entertainment activities. In-between regular classes (which this past week I´ve found frustrating because I felt I could have accomplished more by working alone than sitting through 4 hrs of lectures each day); and recuperating tests which I´d missed due to recent frequent travel absences; I tried to fit in some Spanish cultural activities, and thusfar have had two distinct experiences. One, out of an attempt to understand the Spanish psyche, I went with friends Nasima and Mariette to a Corrida de Rejones, which is where the matador is atop a horse. It was a complex emotional experience, ranging from initial revulsion to eventually some type of quasi-euphoria. I´ve written more extensively about the Corrida in my newsletter to friends. Maybe I splice some excerpts here. I imagine some friends might even dislike me, for having attended the Corrida, and more so, for now intending to return and see other events. I think, even the remotely intelligent being, once having had its curiosity piqued, will try to ascercarse para entenderlo mejor. So, in an attempt to understand the Corrida, as well as comprehend what had happened to me on an emotional level last Sunday, I will return. The situation is analogous to my seemingly-irrational fear of the Black Widow-type of spider (we have them in certain parts of Cape Town). So, in order to overcome this fear, I went to the library and studied the habits of the spider. I had a particular concern with these spiders then because I was cultivating cacti, and the Knopie (as we call them) hid between the plants. Anyway. Last night...

Last night I went with Nasima and Azucena to a concert by Ana Belén and Victor Manuel. Flamenco music, but not as most English-speaking folk are familiar with. It was a great spectacle, with regard to the performance, and the mise-en-scene itself. It was outdoors, at the Campo de Magallanes in Getafe, from 22:00 until 02:00. What a great time. I don´t often go to concerts, so I guess that leaves me not-jaded. And I am like a little girl, suitably enchanted, visually, acoustically, tactically. That said, I do look for obvious cues of the level of professionalism, of the songs, the singers, the backing band, and then the stage. Plus they had a well co-ordinated multimedia display as backdrop to the stage. The stage lighting was handled well too. So, with all those conditions met :) I went on to enjoy the show. I didn´t know any of their work before, and had only just heard an Ana Belén song on the radio the night before. I knew of her, but sketchily. Victor Manuel´s songs from the 1970s are mostly political protest songs, but with some really excellent poetic lyrics. I say "but" because not all protest songs equate with poetry, of course. That was a free concert too, and of course now I am wanting to go out and look for their disks :) See what the open commons ethos results in?