this too
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
  Information age?

Vandana Shiva

The Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva has a great article in the new issue of Resurgence magazine (sadly, they don't have this article on line - I hope that's because it's also being published elsewhere ) on the lessons of the December 2004 tsunami.

Whilst all her points are devastatingly obvious and devastatingly absent from most of the media, one seems particularly relevant to quote here in my tiny spot on the information superhighway:

The tsunami teaches us that a world organised around markets and profits, forgetting nature and people, is ill-equiped to deal with such disasters. In spite of us living in an ‘information age’ and in ‘knowledge economies’, the knowledge of the 8.9 Richter-scale earthquake could not be communicated by the US geological survey to the countries of the Indian Ocean in time to take action to save lives. While the stock-markets of the world react instantaneously to signals, while the entire out-sourcing economy of the information technologies is based on instantaneous communication, it took the world days to count how many died, how many have become homeless. Each day the number rose, beginning with 20,000, until it reached over 280,000. The tsunami tells us we do not live in an information age based on ‘connectivity’: we live in an age of ignorance, exclusion and disconnection.

Something for all of us who like to believe we have high progressive ideals and who revel in this technology to think hard about.

This is a beautiful blog! Thank you for all your incredibly thoughtful posts. You are indeed a writer.
Whew. I shall print that one and keep it for despondent moments. Thank you. Becca, I love your blog too. The design, which is gorgeous, suits the content so well. Have you read The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Toibin (see the post following this)? - a wonderful book for your Irish holiday preparation.
I don't read Resurgence as often as I used to, but your extract from it reminds me sharply how it refreshes the parts that other journal don't even go near. Thanks for the piece.
beautiful jean. thank you. and spot on.
This remarkable woman, who I've seen occasionally on American television, amazes me with her good humor through the many stories of devastating environmental damage she works so hard to change.
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Freelance copy-editor and translator. Keen on language, literature, photography, art, music, buddhist meditation and the countryside.

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