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Future of Globalisation
Is globalisation taking us to a place where we want to be in the future? Is this movement ultimately benefiting us and our future generations or is globalisation simply an extension of the industrial age, committed to economic gain over environmental protection? (Senge 2001).
The future of the environment is anyone's guess. Doom and gloom, or joyous prosperity -- flip a coin. Certainly there are considerable risks waiting to go bad, and enormous challenges to be overcome.
Examples of risks we take are: floating oil tankers across our oceans; transporting and dumping nuclear waste through the land, oceans and air; deploying engineered chemical and biological contaminants into our food and water supplies; releasing carbon into the atmosphere; and so on. These risks create a perpetual management problem. The less stable the geo-political environment, the less effective the regulatory environment. The more often we take these risks, and the more risks in this class there become, the more frequently they will go bad and create a pollution problem.
Examples of challenges we face: peak oil; global warming; carbon emissions; carbon trading; developing clean energy technology; managing energy waste (carbon, nuclear, smoke, etc); and avoiding nuclear or biological warfare.
It's difficult to be optimistic. At best we've all got a boat-load of work to do.
Media & Communications
Whilst it may not have been such an issue in the early years the parameters have changed and the role of media and communications is viewed as a critical facility as opposed to an option. Fewer media networks have become larger players in transoceanic television transmission. CNN for example currently transmits to over 200 countries and territories world wide. Some groups view this as an American slant on information delivery and argue that it cannot be relied upon due to its western bias. Others insist that local world view is being dismantled by the infiltration of these feeds into fragile cultures and are putting tradition and alternative opinion at risk. This is causing a rethink in delivery strategies.
Concern of oligopolies in globalised industries is on the rise with media being of particular focus in terms of the responsibility it carries. Australia is currently suffering the effects of a shrinking owner ship base and poor quality and loaded journalism is often a result. One only needs to compare the format of commercial morning television in Australia to see an unimaginative carbon copy of US morning shows. These programs have been noticeably expressing their need to market share in full view of the public by means of their own broadcasts. Australian print journalism is not above criticisms of bias and sensationalism with The Murdoch owned Daily Telegraph who enjoys an oligopoly of tabloid press in NSW. With a staff of right leaning commentators, the manner of which this media outlet not only serves the news to its readers but also suggest how they should react is questionable.
Risks to qualityIt is concerning that knowledge itself should ever be constrained by such conditions. But as is the case in Australia commercial considerations will always take priority. With the opening of competition in Australia the free to air networks are directly competing with international suppliers. Having said this they are more likely to air a bargain basement film from the USA than a quality alternative from NZ or Europe. The argument of cost doesn’t wash with critics due to the fact that ABC and SBS (both publicly owned and funded) have a program policy of cultural diversity and educational content.
The arguments on the issue of globalisation are varied, it would be difficult to dispute that in the case of expanding communications technology, the winner has been the consumer. As technology becomes more affordable and further reaching than ever before, hyper capitalism is in no danger of collapse or slowing for that matter. It has remained consistent as a self governing creature of the world view of many and in this aspect will always be lucrative as a collaborator to the facilitation of globalisation.
Internet & Transnational Corporations
The globalised world is driven by competition, success and economics. The rapid acceleration of information sciences in the 1980s and 1990s has suited the western capitalism movement. In particular, transnational corporations have infiltrated developing countries through attractive trade agreements and advancements in information technologies (Poggio & Simoni 2003:7).
Theage of technological determinism is evident in every facet of our lives. The universal thirst for knowledge through information technology overcomes the uneasiness of living in a world of inequality. This process of change has created a new landscape, one that places great importance on economic well-being over humankind. ‘If the assembly line gave us one type of society, the global information network gives us another. Much is made of economic flows’ (McDonald 1996:259).
Many argue the development of the Internet has helped educate, communicate and socialise vast populations efficiently and effectively. The advancement of mobile phones and laptop technology allows many people to operate businesses in the convenience of their own homes. However, inequalities in third world countries cause starvation of knowledge and information, leading to an existance of reliance and poverty. Other cultures with addictive tendancies become dependent on a medium that replaces human contact with electronic stimulation (Taylor:2006).
Information technology has enabled the rapid expansion of global corporations throughout the world on a massive scale. The example of McDonalds Corporation shows how this is possible. Positive effects include employment and economic growth. Yet, the impact on society is not always advantageous, as is evident in the McLibel case which exposed the imbalance between profits and people (Kleeman et al 2004:274-275).
Future global developments are only limited by our imagination. The dangers associated with the ‘global village’ can be seen in the capitalistic race for financial gain at the expense of social disintegration which will ultimately end in a hollow existence. Therefore, individually or collectively, finding meaning in life’s inequalities and experiences through advancements in technology is becoming increasingly difficult (Healey 2004:4).
Future innovations for the Internet
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