168

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 […]

167

“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 […]

166

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 […]

165

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 […]

164

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 […]

163

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 […]

162

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 […]

161

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; […]

160

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 […]

159

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 […]

158

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 […]

157

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 […]

156

Discriminator

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 […]

155

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 […]

154

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 […]

153

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 […]

152

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 […]

151

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 […]

150

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 […]

149

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 […]

148

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 […]

147

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 […]

146

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 […]

145

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 […]

144

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 […]

143

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 […]

142

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 […]

141

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 […]

140

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 […]

139

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 […]

138

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 […]

137

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 […]

136

ua@emfa.fr

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, […]

135

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 […]

134

Gruesome figures

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

The heart of a greedy person never rests 20% of the human beings on the planet consume 86% of its available resources, according to the recent Report on Human Development which is published periodically by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This gross imbalance between the “haves” and the “have-nots” makes for a statistical juggling […]

133

Clinton’s Sex Life is Depressing

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

You can’t have your cake and eat it Millions of Americans have just discovered that the sex life of their president, which is on the lips of all and sundry, might be causing them enormous depression and turning them into lonely beings. And this is not because of excessive admiration for the unattainable heights reached […]

132

Those who try to make a killing with their bills, will die by the same

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Save your pennies one by one and you’ll soon have a pocketful The strike against Telefonica on the 3rd of September will become a landmark in the struggle between consumers and big corporations in the Information Society. The history of Telefonica doesn’t leave much room for triumphalism, besides the immediate results of the movement against […]

131

The Tom-Tom-Bit

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

The patient man is prepared to pluck the feathers off a chicken’s egg one by one. (Bambara proverb) Manhica (Mozambique). — Satellites, systems for global positioning (GPS) and for geographical information, aerial photographs, advanced cartographic programmes and digitalised maps, data bases, integrated systems for personal and territorial identification, a data centre with more than a […]

130

The opacity of the new media

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

The cuckold may have known a lot, but the one who cuckolded him knew even more Recent surveys dealing with increasing lack of confidence in the traditional media have seen some cases in which they and the Internet have come face to face. The most notorious of these was the report on CNN and in […]

129

Real-time journalism

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

A sin confessed is a sin half-forgiven Over the last few weeks, a number of surveys in different countries have revealed something that has been repeatedly alluded to all through the nineties, namely the public’s increasing loss of confidence in the mass media. The two most recent polls, one in Spain and the other in […]

128

Arise and get connected

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Tighten the lathe out comes the muscle Cyberspace in the Spanish language is about to experience a big shake-up. The resurrection of the memory buried in thousands of books – from those that disappeared long ago to those that exist today- will be one of the promotion strategies of a new project destined to penetrate […]

127

The virtual ant-hill

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Where there is no gain, loss is not far away Applying concepts from the world of biology to understanding the development of the Internet has become increasingly more frequent over the last three years. The Web is without doubt a rich ecosystem in constant motion and evolution. Some of its characteristics are particularly thought-provoking. Firstly, […]

126

The Ministry of Translation Development

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

The town’s bagpipe never sounds good The attempt on behalf of the Ministry of Development to increase telephone rates in Spain, primarily those which affect Internet users, is not only an act of highway robbery perpetrated in broad daylight and with malice aforethought on the part of the Government of this country, it also means […]

125

The gateways to heaven are many

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

A hungry person ponders more than a hundred learned men Like a subtle, but unstoppable, landslide the emphasis on the Net has been shifting back to the point of departure: how you get into the Internet and what for. All of a sudden, search engines are starting to play such an important leading role that, […]

124

Invitation to a design of life

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

No candle shines until it is put in a candelabra and lit Working on the new version of en.red.ando which we are putting together (the 3.0version, in digital era terms), many of the issues we have been debating in these editorials and, more especially, at the Congress for Electronic Publication have started to come up. […]

123

The street is not enough

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Good at Latin, but bad at English means study time wasted William Gibson is attributed with a saying older than those of Hamlet’s ghost: “The street finds its own use for things” This truism perhaps best fits the Internet. Especially when the WWW unravelled the labyrinth that led to one of the most suitable and […]

122

The digested bit

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Experience is a hard master Among the many contradictory processes being generated by the Information Society, one of the most striking is that which we could call “communicational revisionism”. This position is held by important figures from the world of communications who have played an important part in the creation of distinguished and highly qualified […]

121

The Eternal Hangover

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

He who milks a cow without feeding it, bleeds it dry and kills it Although I am still seriously affected by the physical and spiritual hangover the I International Congress of Electronic Publication left me with and longing for a few days’ rest after the pre- and post-congressional frenzy– the days of the congress were […]

120

The Closing Session of Maig’98

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

To go through bitterness, to attain sweetness Closing Speech from Maig’98: I International Congress of the Electronic Publication, held on the 15, 16 and 17 May in Barcelona. This is not a transcript of my speech but an edited version of what I said and what I had prepared beforehand. The dignitaries present at the […]

119

Gasoline and bureaucracy

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

It never rains but it pours Last week, the Catalan branch of the Internet Society held its annual conference under the title of “The Internet and Catalonia: Civil Society and the Next Generation of the Internet. Proposals for meeting the challenges of the Global Information Society in Catalonia”. Taking as their point of departure the […]

118

The double divide

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

What one throws away, another would die for We know that wealth is drawn to wealth, but now they can call each other up on the telephone or the Internet. In the world there are (an estimated) 1.466 million homes. Only a third of them, 500 million, have telephones. 676 million, the other two thirds, […]

117

The Chlorophyll Effect

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Pity those who are at home, for those in the field have the blanket Does information technology also plant seeds and ease our conscience about energy waste?” This was one of the questions I received in reply to last week’s editorial in which I briefly attempted to imagine the future of Barcelona in 2020. I […]