Stewart, the concrete works worker
Wed, 26 Aug 98 15:42:40 +1000
>So by having an office for Information Economy, we've already accepted a narrow
>agenda for development, and one which blatantly capitulates to global models.
>...what is our responsibility, as cognoscenti, in
>shifting this distorted view into something more sustainable?
About 20 years ago the Ripoff Press published a comic entitled "Wonder Warthog
and the Pigs from Uranus".
The scenario was that the Uranian pigs, hearing that Earth was about to become a
"hotbed of environmentalism" invaded. Our hero, WW, in his guise as Philbert
Desanex, mild-mannered reporter for the Muthalode Morning Mungpie, was shown to
his new domecilary cubicle by a representative or Earth's new rulers. The
cubicle, Philbert noticed, consisted of four walls containing a toilet and a TV.
Each earthling was provided with a lifetime's supply of TV dinners and a large
bottle of "uppers" to ensure that they didn't waste any productive time
Replace Phil by Stewart and the TV with WebTV and I think you have NOIE's plans
for Stewie fairly well described - citizen as production unit.
Wonder Warthog eventually lost his battle with the Uranians and ended up with a
job as a shoveller in the Uranian shit works. This was an "underground" comic,
If Stewart is to see the Internet as anything more than passive entertainment
while he eats his TV dinners, he'll need to be engaged, not just entertained.
The fact that he's a concrete worker doesn't mean that he won't become involved
in discussion groups about his favourite footy team, seek better paying jobs on
the Web, read the DailyMirror online or whatever. But he'll need to have an
understanding of the potential beyond that of NOIE.
If Stewart's kids are in school, they're probably being exposed to some of those
possibilities and, as a result, NOIE's vision may be suffer the same fate as