Institut zur Erforschung und Förderung österreichischer und internationaler Literaturprozesse
Knowledge Networking in Cultural Studies
Reichenau, May, 24-27, 2001
 TRANS No. 10: 
"Knowledge Networking in Cultural Studies" 
(since June 2001)

Internet - a Barmecide feast?
Herbert Eisele (Paris)

The Internet represents a truly democratic pattern, ignoring hierarchy and centrality. Such an open communication circus has aroused cultural expectations and created opportunities which will be discussed in the following. A preliminary warning: the Internet is an exchange platform of information, not of knowledge! The implications of this distinction are shown, as well as the natural limits of the wish-dream of adepts of globality. A cyber-culture is bound to remain virtual, and the bridge from virtuality to reality remains to be built. A short inventory is made of Internet advantages and achievements for the scientific community and users at large. Networking and especially knowledge networking is scrutinised, and the ephemeral electronic advantages are contrasted with durability, which is a prerequisite of every culture. The Internet's real, not virtual potentials in the reserved domain of politics are also highlighted.

Brecht's Aquarian vision of little fishes trained to swim into big predators' festive wide-open mouths is more than a virtual challenge which the well-named Net can help make real in a fishy world aquarium like ours.

Papers held at the conference "Knowledge Networking in Cultural Studies" are published in
TRANS. Internet journal for Cultural Studies, No. 10/2001

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