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Facing Technological Disenfranchisement In The Global Community

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.281.1 - 3.281.7

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Paper Authors

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Robert A. Hall

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Mark W. McK. Bannatyne

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Session 3538

Facing Technological Disenfranchisement In The Global Community

Dr. Mark W. McK. Bannatyne, Professor Robert A. Hall Purdue University/State Dept. of Corrections, New Hampshire


As professionals in what we might be pleased to call the "technologically progressive nations", we have access to data systems and networks that are able to both manage and provide bits and bytes in quantities that just a few years ago were considered a dream of things to come. Indeed, there are many among us who doubtless consider their days a waste of waking hours if they aren't able to receive a daily dose of e-mail, or surf the Net. We have become so concerned about the information that we might receive that even while we sleep we employ computers and other information servants to stand on vigilant duty guarding precious data which are retrieved by fax and answering machines until we can once more join the active world.

This daily acquisition, this barrage of information, has become a staple of our careers. It is the very breath that supports our biosphere of intellect. The review of information has become a corner stone of the society in which we work and even in which we seek escape. We are always seeking the latest version of the tools which displays our data, the fastest access time, and the surest storage capacity by which this information may be tenderly safeguarded. To fail in the quest to obtain information, or to lag behind in the pursuit of more and more information, causes some among us to be ranked by our colleagues as being "illiterate" should we be unable to perform this daily acquisition in an efficient and timely manner.

This vast amount of accessible information, and the interaction it allows us with of our fellow man, in only moments of time and space, are mere key-stokes away from us in our offices, our homes, and even as we travel. And what of the data that is only waiting to be harvested? The field of information available covers such a breadth of knowledge in such diverse levels of interest that at times the deluge of facts presented for our consumption may seem more of a "a solution in search of a problem" rather than the means of bringing any inquiry to a successful conclusion.

However, this world of abundance - this seemingly unfettered access to information, this plethora of technology which obeys our slightest whim for entertainment, or work, or simply distraction - is not available to all who might wish to tap the resources which are just suspended in cyberspace waiting to be summoned. As strange as it may seem, to those who thrive on the acquisition of information, there exists, for lack of a better term, "emerging" nations, societies, and even neighborhoods which long to be ushered into the ranks of the technologically mature. They somehow seem destined to remain in a sort of perpetual simplistic childhood of technological innocence. Who are these groups? What is causing them to postpone their entrance into

Hall, R. A., & Bannatyne, M. W. M. (1998, June), Facing Technological Disenfranchisement In The Global Community Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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