The Language of Information Technology: Accessibility in the Information Society
Speech Communication Association Annual Meeting,
The language of information technology is discussed, with a focus on accessibility in the information society. The metaphors of information technology as an "information superhighway" or "infobahn" are analyzed; limitations of the "road system" and developments of Internet systems are considered. The concept of connectivity of the rhizome in "A Thousand Plateaus" by DeLeuze and Guattari is introduced, with discussion on the lack of a fixed order or hierarchical structure on the Internet. The similarities of World Wide Web to the rhizome in lack of structure are noted. An excerpt from Borges's "Garden of Forking Paths" is used to illustrate the nonlinear pattern of the Internet. The argument that the study of communication and information technology must consider more than the ability to manipulate time, or "spacial view," of technology is applied to the Internet. A comparison is made between DeLeuze and Guattari's discussion of the body without organs and Philip Elmer-Dewitt's article in "Time" on the history of the Internet. The effect of information technology on the future of human interaction is discussed, with a focus on electronic mail and the use of technology as a facilitator of communication; and the lack of hierarchical social structure via the Internet is also considered. (AEF).
Warmkessel, M.M. (1994). The Language of Information Technology: Accessibility in the Information Society. Presented at Speech Communication Association Annual Meeting 1994.