The Human Communications Map

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Nobody says they are fine without adding: “For the moment, anyway” The Internet has substantially altered the information production process as we have known it. On the one hand, it provides the tools and context for creating new ways of generating and disseminating information to audiences which, in many cases, appear from nowhere. On the […]


The Digital Blender

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

A new tree bends in the wind; big, old ones break In the same way as mega-fusions amongst the big communications corporations to a large extent explain the global scope of the type of journalism belonging to the traditional media (see previous editorial “The Big Crush”), the proliferation of new media on the Internet is […]


Daddy, Where Does the News Come From?

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Abundance kills the appetite The media, by furnishing society with an essential vision of itself, has become a fundamental part of the political system. If this system is rigid, dictatorial, totalitarian or fundamentalist, the media usually constructs a vision which corresponds to the regime in power. If the system is — to a certain degree– […]


The Big Crush

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

A job half done is not worth a damn Will continuous takeovers of the media by big business — a local example of which is present in Telefonica policy — affect the type of information they offer, the quality of their content and the way they deal with the reality they inform on? And, secondly, […]


Blazing Classrooms

Rafael Martín

Lightning never strikes twice in the same place This weekend I was asked to give a talk on “The Internet in Education” during the XVI National Conference on Energy and Education, organised by the Nuclear Forum in Madrid. 700 school teachers from all over Spain filled the Faculty of Medicine’s Ramon y Cajal Great Hall […]


Environmental Connections

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

No pain, no gain Last week I attended a meeting of the World Bank in Washington. The World Bank Institute’s Environment and Nature Divison (WBIEN) organised a get-together of experts in environmental journalism to work out a programme for improving the dissemination of information of this kind in the media. Journalists from South Africa, China, […]


Internet in your Pocket

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Everyone stretches their legs according to the length of their coverlet It wasn’t on any of the gurus’ agendas. But, almost overnight cell phones are changing the whole network scenario and are threatening to do away with some of the truisms forged by the heat of change in recent years. And it is not just […]


Exclusion or Autism

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

The hungry dream of bread At the beginning of August, Guineans Yaquine Koita (14 years old) and Founde Tounjara (15 years old), decided to address the people of Europe about daily suffering on the African continent and ask for help clambering out of its depths. They climbed into the landing gear of a Belgian plane […]


Digital Orgy

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

An ounce of practice is worth a pound of precept Young people are aware of the fact that they understand culture differently. And if that culture nowadays manifests itself, to a large extent, through computers, nothing could be better than to spend a few days shut up in a room full of machines, cables, modems, […]


Shadows on the Net

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Nobody sees what you know, but everyone can see what you do Habits and usage in the connected world are changing at great speed. Almost as fast as our difficulty in understanding what is going on on the Internet and learning to move around it with some kind of personal purpose in mind, increases. These […]


Nobody knows who they work for

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Nothing venture, nothing have Hardly five years after the start of the WWW, the interface that has popularized the use of the Internet at a vertiginous rate, the Net has already gained a leading role in the Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Its conclusions are far-reaching: it maintains that the […]


It will all happen tomorrow

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

There is no better sign of water than to watch it fall Last Friday, 2 July, sociologist Manuel Castells held a meeting in Barcelona with a small group of journalists during which he gave his views on what he called the new economy. Castells is, without doubt, one of the foremost thinkers in the world […]


Einstein’s Bicycle

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

The grass looks greener on the other side of the fence The growing and –and inevitable– commercialisation of the Internet is giving rise to a rash of theories, and even philosophies, to explain what we are doing there and how we can take financial advantage of it. Books, specialist magazines, symposia, conferences, thematic web pages […]


The Toy Internet

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Buy at a fair but sell at home Even if only a few Spaniards accept the flood of “free” access to the Internet offers there are at the moment, Spanish cyberspace will experience a healthy rise in its population figures. The big telecom operators are practically falling over themselves to saturate media space with their […]


The Public’s turn to Speak

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Rough winds bring high tides In 1996, the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE, the biggest and most important in the United States of America) started an ambitious project to look into the reasons why newspapers were losing credibility among the American public. The cornerstone of this project was a comprehensive study which included a […]


New Media, New Content

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Good questions teach a lot Four months ago en.red.ando began a new experiment, the space called en.medi@ for debate, analysis and research into new media in the Information Society. The number of people taking part in what we define as encounter technology and content generation has been growing slowly, but surely. At the moment, between […]


E-mail’s Watchful Eye

Rafael Martín

Likely lies in the mire , and unlikely gets over it In 1991, 8 million Americans had access to e-mail. In 1997, there were already 67 million. Last year, there were 96 million. This figure could rise to as much as 120 million this year. The vast majority of these connected people get their bit […]


Encounter Technology

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Nothing escapes or gets lost if you build a strong cage The volume of services on the Internet is constantly growing due to the increase in the Internet population as well as the “translation effect”. The widespread use of English in the Net has triggered the enormous increase of digital content over the last year […]


Fifth in the league and on the way down

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Other people’s problems taste sweet The state of Spanish on the Internet is “getting worse”. According to “El español en el mundo. Anuario del Instituto Cervantes 1999” (“Spanish in the World. The Annual Report of the Cervantes Institute 1999”), the only language that has grown on the Net is English (70% of web pages), followed […]


“Gray-hairedNet’s” Shared Wisdom

Rafael Martín

The present is our only reality One sure sign that the Net is maturing is that the mature are getting into it. Over the last few months we have witnessed a veritable explosion in the number of senior citizens in Spanish-speaking cyberspace. Internet courses for the elderly (anyone over 50) have produced wonderful pages with […]


The spark in the paper

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

To die for the sake of appearance is not so rare Three years ago they laughed at the possibility, both publicly and privately, although some of them made sure they were there “just in case”. Two years ago they felt they “had to be there”, although always looking back over their shoulders to keep an […]


Networked Education (*)

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

What will those that stumble on the plains do when they get to the mountains? The task of schools is to prepare people for life in the world they are going to live in. Today it is clear that the connection between what is taught and that world is being called into question. There is […]


Importing Portals

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

A light purse makes a heavy heart And now, on top of everything else, we are importing portals. Retevision, Spain’s second biggest telecom company, has just sealed a deal with the US search engine Excite to develop a Spanish version of this portal. This way, according to Retevision, the 12.000 subscribers to Iddeo, its service […]


Health Bombs

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

The killer disease of today is not cured by tomorrow’s remedy The latest African upheavals of the malaria vaccine have passed as surreptitiously through the press in the West as a mosquito bite at sunset. At the most important meeting of malaria experts this century, held in Durban less than a month ago, the team […]


Little Questions for Mars, the God of War

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Money is a good servant, but a bad master As the XX century draws to a close and the Information Society dawns, Spain has started to bomb Yugoslavia without declaring war and without an explanation from her government as to what new factors have merited military intervention. When the most intelligent thing a lot of […]


A Universe in Expansion

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

One must draw back in order to leap better Over the last fifteen years, I have taken part in numerous debates and forums on the social communication of science. At all of them, the burning questions were, invariably, whether information on the world of science in the mass media is good, bad, sufficient or insufficient; […]


The Big North is marching on

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Everyone stretches their legs according to the length of their coverlet Legend has it that Lautaro terrified the horses of the Spanish conquistadors’ by getting thousands of Mapuche Indians to stomp rhythmically with all their might on the ground thereby making the earth tremble. The moment the armoured men landed on the ground, the battle […]


Networking Women

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs If you are invited to a meeting of women where you are the only man, you might get the feeling that they know something about you that they’ve never told you or, something that they will, almost certainly, never tell you. At least that was how I […]


From trade unions to crime

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

What good people we are …. as long as we have something to eat As the English often say, in a hundred years’ time we’ll look back at all the things that worry us now and laugh about them. It seems that Telefonica goes along with this philosophy. And, long before a century has passed […]


The cart pulls the horse

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Where there is suspicion, there is caution Fisher Information” is not a key piece of information that belongs to this gentleman. Quite the opposite in fact. It is the information that is missing from our understanding of how things work. And, according to Fisher, in all the systems that surround us that information deficit exists […]



Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

To free oneself of bonds, a good head is better than good arms Forget artificial intelligence. This season something much more sophisticated and suited to the age is going to be in fashion: “artilects” or artificial intellects which, as usual when describing these devices, will apparently be much more intelligent than us. To start off […]


The Davos Way

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

The king means little to his swineherd The World Economics Forum at Davos, the annual get-together of the rich and powerful on the planet, turned into a Freudian exercise in self-flagellation. For a start there was the title of the meeting: Global Responsibility, quite an ironic one in the mouths of transnational corporation CEOs, high […]


en.red.ando answers back

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Little strokes fell great oaks The gestation period has been long and the birth a difficult and painful one. Nevertheless, today en.red.ando’s 3.0 version sees the light for the first time, with its new design and enlarged content. As with all newborns, some will say that it’s a beautiful baby and others will not understand […]


The Geography of Information

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Nobody is wise because of what their father knew Can you imagine what it would be like to see all the archives and weekly content of en.red.ando by just taking a glance at your the screen? And finding the article you were looking for by just a couple of clicks and with no need to […]


Where do portals come from?

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Don’t say shoo! until the last cat has gone by We are in the portal era. But, let’s see how long it lasts. What is certain is that, at the moment, either you have a portal, or you are in one, or you’re a dead “bit”. And, if this is indeed the case, the situation […]


The Quilmes Letter (and III)

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Never say it’s going to rain until you hear the thunder When there is talk about the future of developing countries in the Information Society, their way out of poverty and backwardness is not only seen as a one-way route established in accordance with criteria laid down by the Industrial Society (See the editorial “From […]


City-city dualism (II)

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

If you don’t have enough for your own good, don’t worry there will be plenty of the bad From the time of the Industrial Revolution, capitalism has relied on the country/city dualism. Both concepts have been imbued with cultural, social, economic and political meaning over the last two centuries. “Being from the country” or “being […]


From ICT to IST (1)

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

There’s no pain that can’t be soothed As the population on the Internet increases, so does concern about the fate of poor countries in the Information Age. But, as the population on the Internet increases, can we continue to ask the same questions about the relationship between rich and poor countries? Are the unresolved questions […]


Society’s Information

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Better lose the saddle than the horse Although dates don’t really mean that much, when the end of the year comes round it’s almost obligatory to spend a few minutes reflecting, if not predicting, what the New Year, 1999, will bring. We already dedicated one editorial on this subject in December. So, I think it […]


Lonelier but closer together than ever (A Christmas Tale) (*)

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

So you knew everything and I knew nothing, tell me then what I dreamt this morning Carlos got home just on time. Within a few minutes, another radioactivity alert curfew had begun. He adjusted the sensors which hermetically sealed the house. Little by little, the humid heat that had been creeping in through the windows […]


Internet in the street

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Last night, Monday 14 December, under a waning moon in the clear skies over Barcelona, a group of Internet sorcerer’s apprentices were called to their annual coven at ESADE. I took part in this ceremony, presided over by Alfons Cornella, as I have done in previous years, and we tried to figure out what surprises […]


Net’s stones

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Did you go to church? .–Yes, I did. Did you see God there? .– Oh! I didn’t notice that much At the end of last week’s editorial I talked about the need for building bridges to the Internet for people who still haven’t gained access to it. I brought it up in the wake of […]


Four items of news and Morris’ bug

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Long delayed news, means the demise of many One of the things that most surprises me about the Internet is our evident ability for missing out on the big news stories that the Net itself generates. When I began using it, almost seven years ago now, the first thing that amazed me was that the […]


The grand interconnection

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Year of disease, good year for doctors This morning, after taking his usual anti-cholesterol pill, Mr. John Smith suddenly didn’t feel too good. So, he took his DNA card out of his wallet, spat on it, spread the fluid over its plastic surface, inserted it into the slot of his pocket computer and connected to […]


Addicted to the wheel

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Better to have no wound at all than to recuperate from one well The Climate Summit in Buenos Aires ended like half a bottle of wine. For some, the bottle was half full and for others it was half empty. The “pessimists” are those in the front line, those that know that it rains down […]


A Finnish Friend

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Listening, seeing and keeping quiet – three difficult things to attain Heikki Hakala, editor of the Finnish newspaper Etelä-Suomen Sanomat, was unable to conceal his amazement at the number and variety of electronic publications that populate Spanish cyberspace. Heikki and I were taking part in a round table on the future of the printed press […]


The voice of digital agitation

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Each limb has its purpose: so don’t talk to your thumb, just as you wouldn’t sew with your tongue The constant increase in the Spanish speaking internaut population is not growing at a satisfactory rate if we accept recent statistics on the presence of this language on the Net (I suppose that the same must […]


There’s a paradise in cyberspace

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

There’s no absence that kills and no pain that destroys The Internet is getting old. An unfailingly clear indication of this is that it is reaching that risky age when its founders are starting to die, although some are doing so very early for an invention that only saw the light of day in the […]


The future is not what it used to be

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

He that takes up the most space is not necessarily the biggest Just the other night, a Chilean friend commented in his usual expressive way that, “Things are the way they are and all the rest is just bollocks”. He was casting his aspersions on a kind of intrinsic view of the world and, at […]


Stagefright in the classroom

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

A bad workman blames his tools State commitment to an education which takes maximum advantage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tends to come accompanied by one big promise: computers and connection to the Internet for all students by a given date. However, even if these objectives are fulfilled, there are still a whole lot […]



Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

He that steals a pin steals a pound The second day of boycotts against Telefonica in favour of flat rates meant a second day of battles over numbers. These events are getting more and more like street demonstrations where police estimates usually quote half the number of participants the organisers do. The difference is that, […]


Paper strategies

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Nothing ventured, nothing gained The European Union is worried about the fate of the printed press (incorrectly called the written press by some) as it faces “the new environment created by information technology and, particularly, the so-called Information Society”. This concern was expressed in person by some members of the European Parliament and the EU’s […]