06 September 2016
Among the many alluring promises of modern technology is the claim – repeated often enough – that it can bring the world closer together and create a new globalised world where human beings can feel and see themselves as members of the same family.
There is some truth to this claim, and it cannot be denied that the modern communicative architecture that we see today has indeed brought individuals and communities closer together in more ways than one.
We live in a world where people across the globe can play games together at the same time – think of Pokemon Go or Candy Crush – as they enter a common virtual world that connects people who have never met face-to-face, or even know what their voices sound like.
But the unstated assumption behind all this is that we all live in a world that is somehow flatter than it actually is, and that there is some kind of universal standard of normality that we all enjoy.
Sadly, that is not the case for millions of people the world over, where normality is understood and framed in terms that are starkly different to what we may be used to.
Imagine, for instance, a child born in Iraq in the late 1990s. Such a child would have, by now, lived through almost two decades of incessant bombings, civil conflict and religio-ethnic unrest.
… Dr Farish A. Noor is associate professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
GPO / Online / Print
Last updated on 06/09/2016