The complex architectures of the new communication ecosystem (1998)

I share with the SGI Community this brief contribution, published two years ago on Nòva 24 and on the Blog “Fuori dal Prisma”, Il Sole 24Ore. #Citate the Authors


“We need to start seeing ourselves as citizens of the world and use a cosmopolitan approach (E.Zuckerman 2014)

In the knowledge economy the value is concentrated in the immaterial And objects acquire a higher price the more they contain research, information, image, intelligent design, ecologically compatible materials, socially recognizable meaning. In this context, The Open spaces for innovation are huge”(L. De Biase, 2013)

"THE cyber-utopians they failed to predict the measures taken by authoritarian governments against the internet; moreover, they did not realize how useful it could be for propaganda, how sophisticated the modern systems of online censorship would become, the wisdom with which dictators would learn to use the web for purposes of surveillance…As for concrete actions to promote democracy, cyber-utopian ideas often lead to an equally erroneous approach which I call internet-centrism (technological determinism, ed)…internet-centrists like to answer any question about democratic changes by reframing it from the internet rather than from the context in which the change is to take place” (E.Morozov, 2011)

“Actually, the virgin land of the current communicative practice seems also, and above all, to be marked by extraordinary opportunities for the democratization of knowledge and cultural processes certainly capable of definitively undermining the old industrial model but also consolidated structures, hierarchies, control logics and closure to change. At stake, therefore, is the redefinition of the structure of social power relations with all the implications of the case […] The development of the world-system is closely linked to the affirmation of a new one civil religion founded on knowledge (widespread) and on values not imposed, but acquired in intersubjective way from all actors involved.”(P. Dominici, 2003-2011)


The complex architectures (2005), in support of the online society, confirm and further strengthen, sweeping away any perplexity, the character of "common good” associated with the resource “knowledge“: the only strategic resource, deriving from processes of intersubjective acquisition, can also feed from below the ganglia and tissues that innervate the interconnected economy thus creating the basic conditions for the creation and evolution of that cognitive ecosystem (2003) based on open processes, dynamic and more democratic than in the past; despite the many critical issues on which we have expressed our opinion several times, proposing the definition of "weak link"(1996 and 2002) – between the system of power and the media ecosystem – For indicate a public sphere no longer autonomous from politics and, above all, not critically formed. However, we cannot fail to note how the projects that have la as their founding nucleus multiply knowledge sharing and a new economic model based on cooperation, on a participatory and mutualist culture and, even, up agift ethics (again, in the long run): think of the idea, the ambitious project, anything but utopian (indeed!), to create a open source global network, aimed, in addition to the production/processing of knowledge, also at control of information (crucial, once again, the debate and the decisions that will be taken on the matter net neutrality).

An ecosystem of knowledge which, structured in a reticular way, is destined to significantly facilitate the processes of reduction in complexity in a transitional phasehypermodernity increasingly marked by the increase in indeterminacy and disorder within the systems. To these extremely problematic dimensions we will not add, for reasons of expediency, the analysis that should be conducted on the historical context in which we find ourselves operating, namely the so-called knowledge society: a context increasingly global and interconnected in which the vast majority of lived experiences and with which we interact are revealed, in any case and always, mediated experiences by the information system and, more generally, by the media system. The effects of these dynamics are above all of a cognitive and definition of the thematic hierarchies considered priorities by public opinion (democracy). In other words, we are forced to take note of the absolute strategic importance that communication - understood as a social process of sharing knowledge/power, that is capable of making the position of the actors participating in the communication act and the communication systems have taken over, as well as in the socialization processes concerning increasingly autonomous individuals in their choices, also in the mechanisms of structuring and defining identities and belongings. This creative evolution (title of an important work by H.Bergson), evidently also linked to technological innovation and the advent of the so-called Network society, has led to a sort of expansion of practice and, more specifically, of the public sphere, helping to restore the centrality of the question of ethics - and of the skills, not only technical, indispensable for guaranteeing a "true" digital inclusion – even if within a more complex problematic framework. Not surprisingly, they are just the risk concepts (->knowledge, trust, freedom, today, there is also discussion of risk of digital freedom) uncertainty, vulnerability to characterize the dynamics of modern social systems, crossed by increasingly significant migratory flows and to distinguish the new capitalist knowledge economy (knowledge economy). The process of globalization radicalises conflict – introducing new forms and modalities for possession and access to (intangible) resources – precisely because it invests the sphere of shared valuesof meanings and symbols, forcing us to confront theMore from us (fundamental): This is also a knowledge problem.

The risk, as we have reiterated several times, is that "communication" and "connection" get confused: the network society exponentially increases the possibilities of "connection" but the opportunity to access, share and, above all, be able to process knowledge and information for the majority of social actors are still far from materialising. At the same time, the knowledge society, founded on sharing andopen systems, it's still distant (as documented by many researches and reports) too For the reproducing on the Net of trends that have always characterized groups, communities, social systems: the "closure", functional to the simultaneous increase of internal cohesion, and the control of the dynamics and mechanisms concerning knowledge and power (P.Dominici, 2005). Ethan Zuckerman, one of the most authoritative voices on the subject, he returns in his latest work (2014) on these issues of fundamental importance, speaking of cosmopolitanism, but also of tendency toself-segregation (via youtube -> digital self-segregation…the question returns – on which we have worked a lot, even in the past – of the end of the social bond and the "society of individuals" -> see previous posts), and of the central role of the so-called “figure-bridge”(blogger) able to translate and share information, linking contexts. In social research once again the central figure of the opinion leaders (two-step flow of communication hypothesis), on which the communication research it produced, even though it dealt with the mass media at the time, significant results already starting from the middle of the last century. They grow cognitive potential but also that of uninformed information…and we will return to this question!


NB Please share and reuse the published contents but, kindly, always cite the Authors and Sources even when using conceptual categories and related operational definitions. We share knowledge and information, but we try to interrupt the non-virtuous and incorrect "copy and paste" circuit, fed by those who only know how to "use" the work of others.

I always say: the value of sharing outweighs the bitterness of the misconduct received. In the contributions that I propose there are the concepts, the studies, the research topics that I have been conducting for many years: the value of sharing also becomes a risk, but one must be consistent with the values one believes in. Enjoy the reading!

Sign up to our newsletter!