|Trans||Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften||0. Nr.||August 1997|
Kim H. Veltman (Maastricht)
An extensive study of the threats to culture would lead to an independent monograph. Here our purpose is merely to signal a few pressing issues, namely, unstable politics, some recent trends in global business, notions of evolution involving memes and simplistic trends on the Internet.
Traditionally there has been an understanding that even in war, there should be a common respect for individual civilian lives and for cultural treasures. Hence, even the Germans in the Second World War, notwithstanding that they "stole" a number of treasures were very careful to protect art and cultural treasures, including Jewish items in Berlin. In the case of Montecassino their care saved the Mediaeval riches from destruction by the Allies.
More recently there has been a profoundly disturbing trend whereby one of the chief acts of conquest lies in trying to destroy the cultural history and memory of the vanquished. Hence, the turmoils in the former Yugoslavia have seen the destruction not only of individual houses and buildings, but also a great number of libraries and archives, whereby the collective memory of regions has been annihilated. Similar patterns are evident in various revolutionary governments of Africa. Control means control of the mass media and destruction of the "enemy's" memory.
In some countries this process is more subtle. In Russia, for example, there is officially a strong tradition of research in archaeology and ethnology. On more careful inspection one discovers that these traditions bring to light patterns of movements of people's quite different than those of the present national boundaries and thus undermine them. It is instructive that these same scholars will insist that Russian national identity is not cultural identity. Hence Russia has founded a National Identity Network,(124) which is in great contrast to Poland where culture is equal to the national identity. Culture is cumulative. Hence memory is one of its central dimensions and needs special protection. Any threat to memory is a threat to culture.
There is a long-standing, fruitful tradition linking business and culture. During the Renaissance banking families such as the Medici accumulated great wealth, which they invested through sponsorship of artists, poets and philosophers. In the early twentieth century, Aby Warburg, the son of one of the great modern banking families, founded the Warburg Institute, which became one of the most important institutes for the study of culture in our times. Already in the nineteenth century there was a tradition whereby the "Robber Barons" went to great lengths to earn everything they could and then proceeded to make enormous endowments for the arts and culture: e.g. Rockefeller, Frick, Huntington. This continued in the twentieth century with Ford, Hearst and more recently Getty. In a sense this tradition also set the stage for corporate sponsorship of the arts and culture which has played an important role until very recently.
All this was built on a simple model. One gathered money and then used it to collect things of lasting value. To some extent this too was seen as an investment, but at its heart lay a notion that one acquired money to acquire in turn things of more lasting value, to create collections which represented an accumulation of memory and value. Such patronage of the arts and culture also played an important part in international corporations. To cite only one obvious example: IBM, in addition to its moneymaking ventures, had a strong programme to support cultural dimensions, which included exhibitions on Leonardo da Vinci and special exhibitions on art around the world.
When sending their employees to work in a very different culture such as Japan, major corporations such as Bosch also introduced serious training programmes to help their employees understand different customs and different ways of doing things. All this is laudable.(125) One of the most impressive developments in this context has been a trend towards a systemic family of Quality Management Systems on behalf of the International Standards Organisation (ISO). This entails four basic elements: 1) fundamentals and vocabulary to ensure the communication of content management for critical communication (ISO 9000:2000); 2) interested party confidence of product customer satisfaction (ISO 9001); 3) organisational efficiency and effectiveness in overall performance (ISO 9004:2000); 4) quality and environmental management systems auditory (ISO 19011:2001). This family of standards, which builds on the work of ISO Technical Committee 37, will thus ensure international standards for quality re: management, performance, health, safety, environment and human diversity. The vision is to create an ethic-conomical framework, which produces long-term gain through short-term activity. Closely connected with this vision is an approach which respects human diversity.(126)
At the same time, the past decade has seen the rise of a very different trend within the business world, namely, through new management strategies. Under the rhetoric of creating a culture of change,(127) a rhetoric which also imbues the world of education,(128) there are attempts to identify creative content without history, memory, religion, or belief. From this has grown the notion of corporate culture.(129) This has the enormous advantage that change can be instigated without recourse to precedent, rights or anything. It has the disadvantage because it means that the connection between culture and cult is removed. There is no real memory, no collecting, no accumulation, no increasing value, indeed there is nothing linked with the traditional aspects of culture.(130)
Traditional culture as we have noted is about sharing experiences and is cumulative. It brings identity, without diminishing respect for other cultures. It becomes more valuable with time not only because there is more of it, but because the sources to which it can allude, the references, inferences and implications it can connote and denote are much richer. The new corporate "culture" is the antithesis of this approach.(131) The new corporate culture is merely about finding logos and slogans which set one group out from another. As such it does nothing to deepen one's long term identity, or to help increase respect for others. It is not cumulative qua values: it is only concerned with accumulating more monetary wealth for the corporation. Wealth has of course always been a concern of business. But when it is the only concern to the extent of ignoring personal, regional, and national values, it becomes a serious threat to culture.
Some would link this new trend in management with recent developments within the World Trade Organisation (WTO),(132) as a result of which decisions by WTO can theoretically override the decisions of individual countries.(133) Extreme interpretations of this trend claim that the sovereignty of the nation state is thereby rendered obsolete. In our view there is a deeper reason for concern. As noted below (cf. figure 12), culture exists and needs political attention at seven levels ranging from local urban settings to the international sphere. Very much needed are political structures, which create greater co-ordination between those levels. If international power and wealth shifts to global corporations with no commitment to culture at any of these levels, then culture will be endangered in new ways.(134)
In the nineteenth century the ideas of Darwin in the life sciences were soon applied to the social sciences (and the humanities) in the form of what came to be known as social Darwinism. Archaeologists such as General Sir Pitt Rivers attempted to apply this approach to culture also. There are fundamental problems with an evolutionary approach to culture. First, major cultural artifacts such as the Venus de Milo are unique expressions and cannot be "better" simply by adding limbs, making them larger or other "improvements." As Croce put it:
Art is intuition and intuition is individuality and individuality does not repeat itself. To conceive of the history of the artistic production of the human race as developed along a single line of progress and regress would therefore be altogether erroneous.(135)
Second, an evolutionary approach can readily lead to a one-tracked teleological vision, which assumes that art has but one goal. As we have shown in the previous section art and culture have a number of goals. Thirdly, if there were cultural evolution in a simple sense, then earlier works would necessarily be outmoded and less valuable now than they were at the time of their creation. The Mona Lisa is not less valuable than a painting by Jackson Pollock because it is older. On the contrary, older cultural objects are typically much more valuable than new ones.
In the past decades, such basic truths have frequently been forgotten by those wishing to re-kindle notions of progress in art. This is also true of the latest attempt by Daniel C. Dennett, a leading proponent of the computational theory of the mind, who is seen by some as "reforming the role of the philosopher," and is particularly supported by thinkers such as Marvin Minsky in the field of artificial intelligence.(136)
Dennett sets out to explain the evolution of culture from the premise that "the humanistic comprehension of narratives and the scientific explanation of life processes, for all their differences of style and emphasis, have the same logical backbone."(137) He would have us approach the question of the why of culture (cui bono) partly in terms of cost benefit analysis, adding:
The perspective I am talking about is Richard Dawkins' meme's-eye point of view, which recognizes--and takes seriously--the possibility that cultural entities may evolve according to selectional regimes that make sense only when the answer to the Cui bono question is that it is the cultural items themselves that benefit from the adaptations they exhibit.(138)
Dennett cites Dawkins to note that we can think of cultural memes as parasites, that "they are like viruses." "And in the domain of memes, the ultimate beneficiary, the beneficiary in terms of which the final cost-benefit calculations must apply is: the meme itself, not its carriers." He goes on to classify three kinds of hitchhikers: parasites (whose presence lowers the fitness of the host; commensuals (whose presence is neutral) and mutualists (whose presence enhances the fitness of both host and guide). He goes on to take exception to Wilson(139) to suggest that "cultural possibility is less constrained than genetic possibility." By way of illustration he cites examples of drumming, humming and Bach in music.
While Dennett is at pains to insist that his explanation is complementary with traditional explanations of culture in terms of "wilful creativity," as with other proponents of memes such as Susan Blackmore,(140) there is curious way in which this approach undermines the role of individual expression which Croce, cited earlier, saw as paramount. While it is true that Dennett's approach gives an unexpectedly new meaning to the phrase "art for art's sake," it is difficult to see what is to be gained by these so-called viral insights. What do we gain (cui bono) by abandoning the role of the artist's intent, or notions of culture as the invisible bonds of society through shared experiences?
Also lacking in the meme approach is any notion of multiple goals of culture and hence any framework which allows us to understand the complexities of both local and national differences, why the characteristics for excellence in China or India are quite different from those in Europe. It offers us a one-dimensional answer to a multi-dimensional and multi-cultural tradition. It is a dangerous simplification.
Dennett's approach is linked with another trend in American thought towards a so-called third culture. In 1959, the late Lord C.P. Snow published his book The Two Cultures in which he lamented a growing tendency whereby humanists and scientists no longer shared the same universe of discourse. Recently American thinkers such as John Brockman, claim that they are heading a third-culture, by which they mean scientists with a commitment to public communication:
The third culture consists of those scientists and other thinkers in the empirical world who, through their work and expository writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are.
....what traditionally has been called "science" has today become "public culture."
Stewart Brand writes that "Science is the only news. When you scan through a newspaper or magazine, all the human interest stuff is the same old he-said-she-said, the politics and economics the same sorry cyclic dramas, the fashions a pathetic illusion of newness, and even the technology is predictable if you know the science. Human nature doesn't change much; science does, and the change accrues, altering the world irreversibly." We now live in a world in which the rate of change is the biggest change. Science has thus become a big story.(141)
Striking in the above passage is the same emphasis on change and on the the new as is so evident in business, education and other fields. It may well be true that these are becoming the leitmotifs of public culture. It is very important to recognize, however, that the values of shared experience, shared memory, continuity and accumulative worth reflected by the larger view of culture espoused in this essay lead us to very different insights. Science is clearly important.(142) The use of science in understanding cultural heritage is obviously valuable. But when persons in the name of science, which is concerned with general, immutable laws, pretend to have the answer to all our individual expressions, then we must be very wary. Such a rhetoric concerning science can readily pose serious threats to culture.(143)
Historians will be aware that these dangers are not new. In 1874, the Russian philosopher, Vladimir Solovjev, a friend of Dostoyevsky, published his Crisis of Western Philosphie against the Positivists. As Noemi Smolik has recently noted in an illuminating article,(144) this work inspired several generations of commentary within Russia which led via Andrej Beljj, Velimir Chlebnikov, Roman Jacobson, Vassily Kandinsky and Kazimis Malevich. These thinkers focussed on the Russian word, stroenie/postroenie, which as Smolik notes can be translated both by the word construction and the word structure . As she points, out this group led to both the constructivist and the structuralist(145) movements as well as to postmodernism.(146) Hence what began as an attempt to remedy tensions between the aims of art (creativity) versus those of science and technology (control and production in addition to the age old quest for understanding), inspired precisely those movements which would have us believe that there is nothing to be learned from the cumulative experience of historical knowledge. Without knowing it the proponents of the third culture would appear to be headed in a parallel if not identical direction.
Internet in Simplistic Versions
The Internet is a magnificent resource for culture at many different levels.(147) For instance, the WWW Virtual Library with respect to Museums compiled by Jonathan Bowen offers a wonderful overview of the rich resources which are becoming available.(148) By contrast there are some sites which appear authoritative and yet are extremely reductive in their treatment of cultural complexity. For instance, a site called about.com,(149) divides the world's cultures into four areas: 1) Africa/Mideast; 2) Americas; 3) Asia/Pacific; 4) Europe.
The Americas(150) are reduced to African-American Culture, Arctic/Northern Culture, Asian-American, Caribbean, French-Canadian, (but not Canadian) Culture, Latino, Mexican and South American. Europe(151) is reduced to Eastern Europe, and the cultures of England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (typically under the headings of language, culture and visitors). Asia/Pacific(152) is reduced to Australia, China, India, Japan and South Asia.
Africa is divided into five regions (central, eastern, northern, southern, western) and 9 museums and galleries are listed.(153) By contrast, Jonathan Bowen's (154) excellent site lists 22 museums for Africa and a further 19 for the Middle East. (i.e. Lebanon 4, Israel 8, Kuwait 1, Turkey 4, UAE 2). The about.com also limits the themes of beliefs and folklore to contemporary topics (155) and has equally trendy categories for groups/subcultures,(156) senior living, religion/spirituality and sexuality.
Such simplistic interpretations of reality are nothing new. In the past, however, they were frequently not accepted by serious publishers and thus tended to remain as single manuscripts or in small quantities produced by a private publication. The Internet now allows individuals to publish their views internationally. Censorship is ultimately not a very interesting solution for this problem. Methods such as the Resource Description Format (RDF) being developed by W3 Consortium, offer a way to rate the relative value and the veracity of such sites. At the level of governments and public bodies there is also a new challenge. They must ensure that they convey a sufficiently rich picture of their own cultures. Else others who are less qualified may well (mis-) represent in ways that undermine the universality that potentially underlies the vision of the Internet.
On this front, the good news is that countries all over the world are beginning to make available cultural and other materials. Canada has had a Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) for 27 years. Germany created the second such network through the Marburg Archive. Australia has an excellent network. The United States has recently established a National Initiative for Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH). The efforts of the MEDICI Framework in Europe have been mentioned earlier.
The bad news is that most persons are still unaware of the magnitude of the phenomenon of the Internet. Even awareness of basic statistics is frequently lacking. There is a mistaken impression that the Internet is mainly an American phenomenon and almost exclusively in the English language. A survey at Georgia Tech(157), for instance, claims that 92.2 % of sites worldwide are in English and that 98.3 % of sites in the U.S. are in English. Even the august Club of Rome, in a recent report, cited the Internet Society to claim that English accounted for 82 % of all web sites.(158) One serious source notes a quite different range: English, 59.3%; Non-English 40.7%; European Languages (non-English), 26.2%.(159) Meanwhile, the latest news on this front by Jeffrey Harrow paints a rather different picture again:
The World Map Of The Web Is Changing -- If you recently drew a map of cyberspace it would seem to be North American-centric. But if that's the type of map you want, it may already be too late to get one. Because according to the July 12 eMarketer,(160) while 56% of Internet users were in North America at the end of 1998, they expect that by the end of this year the scales will tip in favor of the rest of the world. More than 50% of Internet citizens will reside elsewhere.
By 2002, North American Internet users, while continuing to grow, will have shrunk to one-third of the world's Internet population due to increases in places such as in Europe! Europe will have 84 million Internet users, or 30% of Internet users worldwide.(161) Asia will have 60 million users, or 22%, and Latin America will have 27 million users, or 9% of worldwide Internet users.(162)
We all need to become more aware of the magnitude and diversity of the Internet phenomenon, and to ensure that information concerning our cultures adequately reflects the complexities thereof.
© Kim H. Veltman (Maastricht)
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(124) See http://126.96.36.199/doc/ist/PR_english.html then National Identity Network. On the other hand Russia also has an Institute for Memory and Cultural Heritage.
(125) For an example of such courses see web of Culture at: http://www.webofculture.com/corp/mission.html.
(126) Chris Cox, "Meta Standards: tools for harmony within Cultural Diversity," TKE '99. Terminology and Knowledge Engineering, Vienna: TermNet, 1999, pp. 694-700.
See, for instance, an article by Robert D. Russell, "The
Role of Organizational Culture in Fostering Innovation in the
Small Business: How Can the Entrepreneur create a Culture of Change?"
cf. Howard W. Oden, Managing Corporate Culture, Innovation, and
Intrapreneurship, Westport, Conn.:
Quorum Books. 1997. A number of recent books discuss corporate culture:
Terrence E. Deal, Allan A. Kennedy, Corporate Cultures: The Rites and Rituals of Corporate Life, Reading, MA: Perseus Press, 1984; John P. Kotter, James L. Heskett (Contributor), Corporate Culture and Performance, New York: Free Press (Simon & Schuster), 1992; Joanne Martin, Cultures in Organizations: Three Perspectives, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992; Edgar H. Schein, Organizational Culture and Leadership, San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1997, (Jossey-Bass Business & Management Series); Robert Goffee, et al., The Character of a Corporation: How Your Company's Culture Can Make or Break Your Business, New York: Harper business, 1998. For a minimal history of corporate identity and design culture see: http://www.si.edu/ndm/exhib/mixingmessages/essay/id/i_a.L2.html.
In Britain, for example, there are striking ways in which the
National Grid for Learning is linked with a new University of/for
Industry and one senses a greater concern with preparing students
to be docile future employees (yes persons par excellence) than
in developing the critical skills that have traditionally been
associated with the best of higher education. This trend is not
limited to Britain. In the U.S. there is the Chalkboard: A Classroom
Corporate Connection at http://thechalkboard.com/.
For a graphic example of potential links between corporate culture
and education see Mentoring Services Inc. at http://www.galaxymall.com/business/mentoring/.
It is striking to note the parallels between titles in education and those in business. Here the ideas of Peter Senge qua the Learning Organization have undoubtedly played an important role. Cf. http://commhum.mccneb.edu/PHILOS/senge.htm. Note that the emphasis is not on the individuals within an organization learning, but rather on the organization itself learning as if the individuals were no longer central.
For a subtle example see United Innovations at: http://www.mmaweb.com/ui/about.html.
For examples of corporate culture as told by the corporations themselves see: http://www.prcentral.com/bokcorpcult.htm.
See also an insightful essay by Charles S. Sanford, Jr., "Managing the Tranformation of a Corporate Culture: Risks and Rewards" at: http://www.libs.uga.edu/hargrett/collects/sanford/leadership.html. For a study of patterns of Corporate Philantropy in the United States see: http://www.capitalresearch.org/patterns/PatternsXI.htm.
(130) For an example which claims the need for respect for cultural diversity see: http://www.johnmole.com/what.htm. For a seemingly neutral definition of corporate culture see that of J D Edwards at http://www.jdedwards.com/Company/culture.pdf:
"Our corporate culture consists of two elements, the Corporate Ideals and values to which we strive, and the peaceful Work Environment we maintain to promote job satisfaction, productivity and quality consciousness."
Quite a different definition is offered by Blickmann and Collegen at http://www.bickmann.de/bickmann/ who note that Corporate Identity & Corporate Culture entail the following:
|Change Progammes||Change- Programme|
|Corporate Design||Corporate Design|
|M & A Guidance||M & A Begleitung|
|Going Public||Going Public|
|Virtualisation and Partial Virtualisation||Virtualisierung und Teil-Virtualisierung|
For an example of training concerning corporate
culture see: http://iplex.com/planm/partd/culturelist.
For a quite different approach which links corporate culture with civil responsibility see http://cbpa.louisville.edu/bruce/imba/reflection/culture.htm. See also: Price Pritchett, Mindshift: the employee handbook for understanding the changing world of work, Dallas, TX: Pritchett & Associates, Inc., ©1996.
(132) Key to these developments is the so called Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) the problems of which are outlined at: http://mai.flora.org/.
One of the important statements in this area is David C. Korten,
When Corporations Rule the World, West Hartford, San Francisco:Kumarian
Press, Berrett- Koehler, 1995. Cf. Invisible Crises. What Conglomerate
Control of Media Means for America and the World, ed. George
Gerbner, Hamid Mowlana, Boulder: Westview Press, 1996. These are
extreme and somewhat one-sided views. For a criticism thereof
and a discussion of larger issues concerning globalisation of
the economy see: http://baobabcomputing.com/corporatepower/Critiques_of_the_Global_Economy/.
For a more balanced view of some of the problems see also: Geoffrey Reeves, Communications and the Third World, London, New York: Routledge, 1993; Ziauddin Sardar, Jerome K. Ravetz, Cyberfutures. Culture and Politics on the Information Superhighway, London: Pluto Press, 1996.
For other dangers to culture through corporations see: Herbert I. Schiller, Culture Inc.: The Corporate Takeover of Public Expression, New York: Oxford university Press, 1991. On questions of cultural imperialism see: Nancy Snow, Propaganda Inc.: Selling America's Culture to the World, Seven Stories Press, 1998.
Inherent here, of course, are problems that affect all aspects
of our society. Part of the rhetoric of these multi-nationals
is that the markets adjust themselves, that regulatory bodies
are now obsolete and indeed, that many of the traditional functions
of government are also obsolete. In this view the future of government
lies in privatization of assets.
It is important to recognize that this rhetoric is not exactly new. It was very popular in Britain in the late sixties and seventies and had some unexpected consequences. As Professor Derek Law, noted recently at a summer course on digital culture (at MMI) in Maastricht, at the time of the war with the Falkland Islands, authorities found that they were without maps of their former territory. All the maps in the appropriate government agency had been sold off. The problem was resolved by consulting the maps at the Royal Geographical Society. This predicament led the government to reconsider how much materials gathered with taxpayers' money should reasonably be sold off. It is striking to see that the potential lessons to be learned from such experiences are not preventing various countries from pursuing the chimera of making money by privatising that which has been acquired by the public for the public good.
(135) Benedetto Croce, Aesthetic, as Science of Expression and General Linguistic, transl. D. Ainsle, Boston: Non Pareil Books, (1909 original), 1978, p. 136.
See: Daniel C. Dennett, The Evolution of Culture, The Charles
Simonyi Lecture, Oxford University, 17 February 1999 at http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/dennett/dennett_p1.html.
This general notion builds on the approach of Richard Dawkins.
The epedemiological approach has been explored by FCT Moore, "The
Contagion of Ideas: on Dan Sperber's epidemiological model of
culture," Department of Philosophy: The University of Hong
Kong, (Seminar paper: 9 October 1997. One of a series of meetings
in preparation for Dan Sperber's visit to the University of Hong
Kong in November/December as the Kenneth Robinson Fellow). See:
(137) Ibid., p. 2 of 4.
(138) Ibid., p. 4 of 4.
(139) Elliott Sober, David Sloan Wilson, Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1998.
(140) Petra Janboers, "De mens volgens psycholoog Susan Blackmore: een verzameling genen en memen", De Telegraaf, 29 May 1999, p.TA5. Cf. http://www.memes.org.uk.
(141) See: http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/3rd_continue.html.
(142) For an insightful assessment of science see Gustav V. R. Born, "The freedoms and limits of science. Fringe thoughts of an experimental pharmacologist," Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung Mitteilungen, AvH Magazin, Bonn, Nr. 72, December 1998, pp. 3-14
(143) If the reader feels that the author overreacting on this point they may wish to reflect upon the closing statement of this group's "manifesto" found at the website in the previous note:
Throughout history, intellectual life has been marked by the fact that only a small number of people have done the serious thinking for everybody else. What we are witnessing is a passing of the torch from one group of thinkers, the traditional literary intellectuals, to a new group, the intellectuals of the emerging third culture.
In this author's view the above passage has a little disguised ultra-elite agenda which is not about opening up and making accessible the traditions of different cultures which is our topic.
(144) Noemi Smolik, "Ohrfeige dem öffentlichen Geschmack. Künstler der russischen Avantgarde und die Wissenschaft," 2 Internationaler KünstlerSymposium, Ulm, 1997, pp.3-8.
(145) Jacobson left Russia and had as his student Claude Levy Strauss.
Smolik notes that Alexandre Kojve a nephew of Kandinsky, who was
influenced by Solovjev, and studied with Karl Jaspers went on
to Paris to lecture at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes from 1933 to
1939 where he coined the phrase post histoire which was
taken up in the seventies as the postmoderne. On the question
of postmodern culture
(147) For a survey of the dangers of Internet see: Neil Barrett, The State of the Cybernation. Cultural, Political and Economic Implications of the Internet, London: Kogan Page, 1996.
(148) See: http://www.museums.reading.ac.uk/vlmp/. A fuller list of museums is available in Museums of the World, Museen der Welt, Munich: Verlag Dokumentation, 1973, 1997 etc. Originally a list of 17,000 Museums in 148 countries. Now 27,000 museums from 190 countries. See http://www.saur.de/museum.htm.
(149) See http://about.com
(150) See http://home.about.com/culture/cultureamer/index.htm?PM=76_803_ T
(151) See http://home.about.com/culture/cultureeurope/index.htm?PM=76_80 5_T
(152) See http://home.about.com/culture/cultureasia/index.htm?PM=76_804_ T
(153) See http://africancultures.about.com/msub22.htm?pid=4579&cob=home. Admittedly, the Africa site has a number of other headings: African Studies, Anthropology & Archeology, Architecture, Art, Cities, Costume, Customs, Dance, Drama, Film, Food, Governments, History, Language, Literature, Maps, Museums and Galleries, Music, News, Organizations, Peoples, Religions, Slave Trade, Societies, and Women. But even these scarcely reflect the complexity of the African continent.
(154) See: http://www.icom.org/vlmp/world.html
(155) I.e. astrology, conspiracies and extremism, new age, paranormal phenomena, UFOs/aliens, urban legends and folklore.
(156) College Life, Deafness/Hard of Hearing, Gay Life, Lesbian Life. See http://home.about.com/culture/groups/index.htm?PM=76_807_T.
(157) See: http://www.gvu.gatech.edu/user_surveys/survey-1998-10/graphs/general/q11.htm
(158) How New Media are Transforming Society, ed. Bertrand Schneider (Resume of the main points discussed at the end of the conference at the Smithsonian Institution Washington, 24-26 October 1997) at http://www.clubofrome.org:
At the most practical level, on the use of language, there is no doubt that an inability to use English restricts full access to the Worldwide Web. In a survey conducted over a year ago, the Internet Society showed that English accounted for 82 per cent of the Websites worldwide. German was second with an enormous 4 per cent; followed by Japanese at 1.6 per cent, French at 1.5 per cent, and Spanish at 1.1 per cent.
(159) See: http://www.euromktg.com/globstats/
(160) See: http://www.emarketer.com/estats/071299_north.html. In the interests of elegance I have removed this and the following reference from the original quote and relegated them to the footnotes.
(161) See: http://www.emarketer.com/estats/071999_home.html
See: Jeffrey R. Harrow, The Rapidly Changing Face of Computing,
Aug. 2, 1999 at http://www.compaq.com/rcfoc
last change 30.1.2000