Posted to the Ethnos Project by on February 19th, 2012


The diversity of knowledge is crucial for finding credible and sustainable alternatives for living together. Yet, a preoccupation with content and connectivity obscures the role of information technology in making invisible different ways of knowing and other logics and experiences. How to deal with diversity and difference in information technology? In this paper two cases are explored in which dealing with difference is a particular political and ethical concern. The designs of Indymedia, an Internet-based alternative media network, and TAMI, an Aboriginal database, are informed by the confrontations over different ways of knowing. They translate difference without sacrificing diversity, providing clues for building credible and sustainable design alternatives that will not hurt others.

About the Author

From “My main academic interest is Science and Technology Studies, in which we study the co-production of technology and society. My research focuses on the design and use of digital technologies such as archives, databases, websites, and social media. My research topics include (indigenous) knowledge databases, privacy and social media, gender and design, human autonomy and automation, classification systems, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, open source software, and ICT and development. Some of the cases I studied are the Open Knowledge Network, Wikipedia, MinJournal, TAMI, Blindern station, Facebook, PatientsLikeMe, and Indymedia. I have implemented fieldwork in Kenya, India, and Canada. Additional interests are the ethics and information system and the materiality and morality of things. My research methodology is based on ecological thinking, which foregrounds process, relationships, networks, patterns, and interdependencies. I use (virtual) ethnography, qualitative interviewing, and content analysis as research methods..”

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