culture


In the talk that I gave at Manipal University, I emphasized the significance of audiences in today’s economy. Here is a piece that highlights what appears to be a counter-trend. Yet for much of that time, the business side of culture looked under assault. The internet taught a whole generation that content was not something you really had to pay for. So for years, digital content companies — especially those in the online news business — looked doomed to pursue a scale-only, ad-based business model.
In the late 1980s, I supervised a Masters thesis on the emergence of the fax. Those days, fax was big. Among the drivers she found were the significance of Japanese corporate culture and ideograms. It appears that the Japanese who were then the most enthusiastic adopters have not given up on it yet while the rest of the world has. Japan is renowned for its robots and bullet trains, and has some of the world’s fastest broadband networks.
Until the 1970s, it was customary to ensure seats for specific under-represented castes in the Sri Lankan Cabinet. It was only in 1989 that a non-leading caste politician got elected President. Caste-bloc voting has ceased to be a major factor in elections in at least the Western Province. These progressive changes are catching on in North India, it appears. South India is more progressive in economic and cultural terms, but caste is deeply embedded in the political practices in the South.
Occasionally a piece on what the Internet is doing to our brains catches our attention. Sometimes we address topics of censorship and privacy though it is not our main focus. A review of a book on the early days of the printed book in Europe (not Korea) caught our attention. Should be interesting reading–the book. The review definitely is.