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Thirty years ago, the French philosopher and literary theorist Jean-François Lyotard published a prescient “report on knowledge” called The Postmodern Condition . Originally commissioned by the Conseil des Universités of the government of Quebec, the report was an investigation of “the status of knowledge” in “computerized societies” (3). Lyotard's working hypothesis was that the nature of knowledge—how we know, what we know, how knowledge is communicated, what knowledge is communicated, and, finally, who “we” as knowers are—had changed in light of the new technological, social, and economic transformations that have ushered in the post-industrial age, what he calls, in short, postmodernism. Much more than just a periodizing term, postmodernism, for Lyotard, bespeaks a new cultural-economic reality as well as a condition in which “grand narratives” or “meta-narratives” no longer hold sway: the progress of science, the liberation of humanity, the spread of Enlightenment and rationality, and so forth are meta-narratives that have lost their cogency. This itself is not an original observation; after all, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Adorno, Horkheimer, Foucault, and others have variously shown where the fully enlightened world ends up. What sets Lyotard apart is his focus on how knowledge has been transformed into many “small” (and even competing and contradictory) narratives and how scientific knowledge in particular has become transformed into “bits of information” with the rise of cybernetics, informatics, information storage and databanks, and telematics, rendering knowledge something to be produced in order to be sold, managed, controlled, and even fought over (3-5). In these computerized societies (remember this is 1979: the web didn't exist and the first desktop computers were just being introduced), the risk, he claims, is the dystopian prospect of a global monopoly of information maintained and secured by private companies or nation-states (4-5). Needless to say, Google was founded about twenty years later, although ostensibly with a somewhat different mission: to make the world's information universally accessible and useful.

Lyotard articulated one of the most significant contemporary struggles—namely, the proprietary control of information technologies, access and operating systems, search and retrieval technologies, and, of course, content, on the one hand, and the “open source” and “creative commons” movement on the other. Beyond that, he drew attention to several other changes that have affected what he considered to be the state of knowledge in postmodernism: first, the dissolution of the social bond and the disaggregation of the individual or the self (15); second, the interrogation of the university as the traditional legitimator of knowledge; and third, the idea that knowledge in this new era can only be legitimated by “little narratives” based on what he calls “paralogy” (a term that refers to paradox, tension, instability and the capacity to produce “new moves” in ever-shifting “language games”). While I will not evaluate Lyotard's argument extensively here, I do think it's worth underscoring these points because, perhaps surprisingly, they apply just as much to 2009 as they did to 1979. After all, the social bond today is fundamentally realized through interactions with distributed and equally abstracted networks such as email, IM, text messaging, and Facebook that are accessed through computers, mobile phones, and other devices connected to “the grid.” It has become impossible to truly “de-link” from these social networks and networking technologies, as the self exists “in a fabric of relations that is now more complex and mobile than ever before . . . located at 'nodal points' of specific communication circuits. . . . Or better [Lyotard says] one is always located at a post through which various kinds of messages pass” (15).

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
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Source:  OpenStax, Emerging disciplines: shaping new fields of scholarly inquiry in and beyond the humanities. OpenStax CNX. May 13, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11201/1.1
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