Technological literacy

The people who were reporting in the edit group were all social scientists and/or journalists. The gap between the edit group and the tech guys was huge. In the proceedings there is lots of information about the things that were said, but none about what actually happened in the technology. Only in Rop Gonggrijp's article for Hack-Tic is this reported. The experience of realising these new skills with this amazing potential was actually the profoundest aspect of the GHP for me. I had done some sewing, knitting, cooking, plumbing, electrical wiring, pottery wood- and brickwork. I had even made a printed magazine, film, photographs and video. I understood the production process of all these, at least in a simple way. But here something else was happening: a combination of skills with an effect that was beyond what I had experienced before and with an outcome that nobody could predict.

When commenting on this case study, Rop Gonggrijp raised the question of whether I have not been describing my own first time experience instead of a shared first time experience. Having been online for 5 years before the GHP took place, he had experienced and discussed how technology changes the "modalities of communication" as he formulated it, with fellow contributors to NEABBS. I agree with him that I have described my personal first time experience of the changes in the 'modalities of communication' even though, and he agreed, the performance setting of these new modalities was new for everyone. Some of my 'obvious' perceptions are not as interesting to Gonggrijp as they are to me. I have intentionally formulated the obvious to better understand presence design as I argued in chapter 1. The fact that Gonggrijp actually finds these changes in modality of communication no longer interesting, that they are now taken for granted, supports the argument I want to make below.

The GHP was the first time I realised that people with certain technology skills, even when they are only 16, have different skills and therefore different responsibilities than other people. The fact that the hacker ethic had been developed by the Chaos Computer Club in the 1980s, and by many other computer developers in the 1970s in Berkeley and beyond, is also proof of this awareness. People who are savvy about technology also realise what it can do, both in positive ways and in negative ways. The question I raise here goes deeper. I wonder whether and how our sense and understanding of technology affects our identity. Literacy has become a distinct feature in our world, which deeply influences someone's identity, and it is also used in statistics about the development of a certain region. Will technological literacy become such a feature as well?