Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spreading indigenous knowledge

John Liebhardt has kicked off a Global Voices special topic on The Future of ICT for Development:

At first glance, the relationship between indigenous knowledge and the Internet seems fraught. Indigenous knowledge provides a distinct set of beliefs, practices and representations avidly tied to place; the internet lauds itself for erasing boundaries and borders.

On one hand, the traditions encapsulated in indigenous knowledge are culturally unique, using local understanding to solve local problems. This makes it an important component in the fields of ecology, education, agriculture and health security. On the other hand, the internet is lauded for spreading information to help people, but it is also a bazaar, tilted towards large corporations and the economies of scale:, Google, Microsoft, PayPal. Indigenous knowledge has certain spiritual and ceremonial components; the internet is largely agnostic, and makes a good deal of money peddling pornography.
ICTs and the spread of indigenous knowledge
GV author Aparna Ray is also seeking input:
As part of our special coverage *The future of ICT for development*, I am
working on a post, the theme of which is "role of ICT in protecting native/local knowledge". If any of you have any interesting conversation threads/ links from the blogosphere in your radar, please do send them my way or even if you feel that there is something I definitely need to cover in such an article, please let me know. All inputs are most welcome :-)
You can send any thoughts to Aparna through her link at GV or leave them on comments here.

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