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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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, […]


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 […]


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, […]


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. […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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, […]


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 […]


Sustainable Knowledge

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

He who commits one error, commits a hundred The city of the Industrial Revolution we know –and suffer– only too well. The city of the Digital Revolution is still a mystery. The metropolis of the Information and Knowledge Society raises an extraordinary range of questions and challenges which we are hardly even beginning to address. […]


It’s our turn

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Adventures are to the adventurous From this week on, en.red.ando will appear on two sites in the Internet: at its regular electronic address and in Tanda, a new digital communications media in which, for the moment, eight publishers of electronic magazines will take part, all of them Catalan-based. Tanda is innovative, both as far as […]


A society in search of its pathology

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

He who measures out oil, gets his hands greasy The question most often posed about the Internet is, who makes money out of it? Sometimes it comes endorsed by such reputable high priests as The Economist, The Wall Street Journal or The Financial Times, or no less prestigious denominations such as Harvard or Yale. What […]


Today, let’s talk about books

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

A silver key can open an iron door Nicholas Negroponte is not just a technologist keen on predictions. As a character, he embodies the density of users, and the information they move in the Internet that surrounds him. To a certain extent, he is the spokesperson of a social phenomenon that has matured far enough […]


Catalonia, limping along

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

One hand washes the other Since the massive enthronement of the Internet at the hands of the WWW, Catalonia has played the role of a digital driving force in Spain. It not only has the highest density of connected people in the whole country, but Catalan cyberspace also has more and more interesting initiatives with […]


The Government in the Net

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

A great good was never got with little pains Depending on how you look at it, Spain comes 10th in the world in the list of countries with the most inhabitants connected to the Internet, or 23rd if one takes into account the number of internauts in proportion to the total number of inhabitants in […]


Operation Delta

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

He who puts his faith in another will end up crying The quality of the content we find on the Internet is one of the aspects that most worries its users. “Infojunk” is a word frequently used by internauts when talking about the ethereal notion of information quality in the Net. But, before we go […]


Intersection zone

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Variety is the spice of life The deltaic regions of the world are amongst the richest on the planet in terms of their biological production. They are the places where two waters meet, often river and ocean, each contributing something different. These turbulent meeting points generate conditions for a rich, prolific, intense exchange of life […]


In search of the juicy headline

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

From bad dough one cake is enough Last week we started taking a look at the question of how public opinion is formed by the media, both in the real world and in cyberspace. The focus in the previous editorial was on the world outside the media and on the growing complexity of our society, […]



Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

When the fox preaches, then beware your geese Although nobody knows exactly why, the US is once again going to attack Iraq with what promises to be a devastating military offensive. Politicians in the West, almost without exception, are backing Bill Clinton in his latest lecherous war “affair”. From the unconditional support of phoney Tony […]


Bangemann dixit…

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

A lame father produces a one-armed son From the 4 to the 7 February Barcelona hosted the conference “Telematics: Advancing the Information Society“, which included the Telematics Application Programme (TAP) and “The Information Market and Industry and Language Processing“. 1,500 experts from all over Europe attended the conference, presenting more than a hundred projects on […]


The Drudge Effect

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

A girl goes down to the river, she doesn’t say anything about herself but tells all about her neighbours An unexpected, hard slap in the face, has suddenly made the traditional communications media, both paper and audiovisual, wake up to the reality of cyberspace. At least, that is the way we could read the latest […]


Holes in the Net

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Saintly words and cat claws The suppression of the Communications Decency Law (CDA) as unconstitutional in the US has supposed a change of government strategy on how to control the Internet, both in the US and in Europe. As we said in the previous editorial, instead of applying the stick of the law, they are […]


Isolated, but well-fed

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

There’s a scorpion under every stone Last week I had a mystical experience, really I did, like those of Saint Theresa that make one exclaim, “I live without living in myself and I die because I am not dead”. The curious thing about this experience was that it happened because of the Internet, and it […]


The wolf’s ears

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Listeners never hear good of themselves All of a sudden overnight, the European Union has discovered that the US possesses an extensive and complex network for spying on European citizens. An electronic global network capable of listening in to every telephone conversation or interfering with every electronic message and telex. Such big ears once pricked […]


The uninformed Information Society

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

It’s the same eight or eighty, as long as all the eights are tens The year has begun and there’s nothing new from the front line: the use of the Internet in Spain is constantly increasing according to the Estudio General de Medios (EGM). During the last few months of the year, the Net was […]