The last few weeks have seen me traveling through a number of different communities from many many different countries - these are communities ranging through the academic, political and the social.
Each community was committed in some way or another to new technologies.
And yet ...
I have been taken aback with (fico suprendida com) how unfamiliar many people are with these new tools and technologies. Yet again I find myself living in two different mindsets.
On the one hand there is a world where online and offline connections blend, complement, compete and synergise. Time is not synchronous. Technologies are ubiquitous and "everyone uses RSS feeds". This world is not dominated by technologists, but by social entrepreneurs who see the potential of new technologies.
In another world intentions like "e-learning platform" or "knowledge portal" are heralded as badges of innovation and state-of-the-art accomplishments. In this world you still hear people insist that face-to-face is more complete than online, as if the two were in opposition. The frames of same-time same-place are unquestionable. People who know about technologies must be engineers, technologists or freaks.
It has been a salutory lesson.
And it reminds me of an ongoing design question I have (and that was stimulated by Nancy): how do you stimulate people's imagination to try out technologies? And also - how come some people see it and others don't?
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