Stars and Bar Code Galaxies

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

He who is without shame, all the world is his. At the end of May US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, in one of those speeches worth casting in bronze, stated gravely at a press conference that, “US control of space is under threat from rogue states and terrorist groups which could attack our satellites […]


Quo vadis, Europe?

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Put your head together with another thousand and what belongs to the others belongs to you In the eighties the debate over how to build a united Europe, one of the grandest attempts at political design that the last few decades have seen, was dominated by expressions such as “economic harmony” and “structural adjustments”. Phrases […]


Why I am a globaliser

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Those who arrive are never late Genoa has added one more bead, martyr included, to the rosary of demonstrations organised by the inaccurately named anti-globalisation movement. Once again, the fury of events has clouded the basic issues. But we must not lose sight of these basic issues, for if we do we will find ourselves […]


Internet Universities

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

When the shepherds argue you’ll find out where the cheese is Despite all the media coverage about university summer schools, one recent event received very little media attention and seemed to come and go almost unannounced. This was the “Universidad de Verano Campus-Ti, Ciencia y Tecnología” (The University Summer School -IT – Information Technology), held […]


The Old Economy Isn’t Working

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

If you think only about where you’re going you’ll forget where it is you have been. If, as neo-liberal thinkers maintain, the market knows how to respond correctly to the signals it gets, assigning resources where needed, satisfying demands and regulating prices so that intervention is made unnecessary, then things are looking great for the […]


The Virtual Room

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Doing and undoing is the way to learn While, on the one hand, public perception regarding the Net is still focussed on the crisis within Internet companies, on the other, there is growing concern about how to apply this technology to areas which have not as yet paid it sufficient attention or discovered how best […]


The Network Nobody Asked For (*)

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Don’t boast about your gains; don’t remember your losses The air is still redolent with the aftermath of protests against the suspended World Bank meeting which was to be held in Barcelona and we have once again been enveloped in the rhetoric of the so-called anti-globalisation movement. As I have said before, some of the […]


Creatures from the Past

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

There is no rain if the wind doesn’t look for it In the 80s, the most frequent use of the word global –not globalisation– was in relation to the natural world and the changes scientists began to detect in the environment due to human intervention. These changes were referred to as “global” because they affected […]


Einstein’s Globalisation

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Every wineskin smells of the wine it holds The suspension of the World Bank’s Annual Conference on Economic Development which was to be held in Barcelona from the 25 to 27 June 2001, is the latest episode in a series of confrontations experienced in various world capitals wherever the World Bank tries to show it […]


The Semantic Web

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

A Deck of Aces Human languages, naturally enough, are intended for human consumption. The digital language of zeros and ones, the “unique language” as we have previously dubbed it in this space, is meant to be understood by machines. Between the two there lies a vast region brimming with enormous possibilities: the language that will […]


Foreign Culture with a Local Flavour (*)

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

We put our tongues where the tooth hurts the most The Babel that is the Net, although it is not quite ten years old yet in its public dimension, has already generated a flood of philosophising, in books, essays, conferences and, occasionally, even official policy statements, dealing with the fate of languages –and cultures — […]


Three Languages

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Better to prepare for the future than argue about the past Relationships between the languages we use on the Internet and the cultures they represent are becoming more and more complex. Many societies, including our own, feel that their future as cultural entities and the preservation of the most characteristic features of their identity, depend, […]


They Just Don’t Get It

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Nobody’s says they’re doing fine without adding “for the moment” Last week I had the pleasure of attending one of those events that seem to go against all current trends but which, nevertheless, illustrate the rich diversity of the world we live in –something our opulent industrialised world perspective makes it all too hard for […]


Back with a Vengeance

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Even if I’d like to, I can’t sleep and keep an eye on the threshing floor at the same time The hangover caused by the so-called “New Economy Crisis” is manifesting itself in all sorts of strange ways. At a series of conferences and forums over the last three months, many of them crawling with […]


The Talent Laboratory

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Those that walk with honey get some stuck on them This week I had the privilege of participating in a unique, extraordinary and strange event: The 5th International Education Congress (5º Congreso Internacional de Educación) held in Córdoba, Argentina, from 18 to 22 April. What made it unique was the impressive list of speakers, 18 […]


The more you get networked, the better

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Take your mules to the market, it’s much harder to sell them if they’re hidden away The debate on knowledge management that goes hand in hand with the growth and density of the Information Society (or Knowledge Society – but that’s another bone of contention) is still largely bound to premises from the Industrial Society. […]


Learning in Moderation

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Taking things to heart gets things done On the Internet, as one would expect with an open architecture network of this kind, we can all “see each other”. Moreover, we see one another as numbers, 0’s and 1’s (hence the joke about the two mutts sitting in front of the computer saying, “The advantage of […]


Woody’s Friend

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Even cats want shoes One of the most spectacular changes brought about by the networked society is the de-localisation of information and knowledge for decision-making, learning, organising work, developing projects or just simply enjoying one’s leisure time. Before, this information was guarded within the walls of organisations themselves (jealously protected from prying eyes), under the […]


There’s No Net Like Your Own Net

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

What can one expect from hands that don’t give? “Where can I find reliable, quality information that interests me?” “What search engine do you use?” “How can I find out who knows what, and get them to transmit it to me?” These three questions are possibly the most frequently asked by internauts, as they surf […]


Cultural Changes

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Fame is inflated reality Things are changing. New information technology, the Internet, the digital economy. What a tidal wave! It’s obvious that we have to change too. I have to change. So, I buy the latest gadget. I plug it in and, after a hiccup or two, it works. I get myself an e-mail address, […]


The Networks of Life

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

What you don’t know, you shouldn’t say According to the media, the Stock Market and the big banks, the New Economy is going down the drain fast, but it is, nonetheless, a fascinating spectacle. Dot.coms are tumbling down like autumn leaves, some of them the very symbols of the euphoria we have experienced over the […]


The Confederacy of Conspirators

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Pardon one offence and you encourage many Subcommander Marcos of the Zapatista Front of National Liberation (EZLN), who is leading the Peace March of indigenous peoples on Mexico City, is the living incarnation of globalisation. With a discreet microphone over his balaclava, a mobile phone on one side of his cartridge belt and a transmitter […]


Internet and Evolution

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Many people together means something’s on the move So here we are then. We’ve got the human genome, we’re learning to juggle those genes, we’re putting more and more machines both inside and outside our bodies, we have a culture with a considerable capacity for changing our environment, from the cells within us to our […]


The Genome Networks

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

There is none so blind as them that would not see Ever since the end of the 80s, people have been predicting that the XXI century will be the Biotechnological Age (see Jeremy Rifkin, amongst others) and the Information Age too (as Manuel Castells explains in his monumental trilogy and we on this electronic magazine […]


Angels with Digital Wings

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

The servant is forced while the server is pleased As though there wasn’t enough going on already, the Internet has gone ahead and given birth again. Literally. The resulting cocktail from an exponential growth in the power of computation, the Net’s growing capacity for transmission, and greater accuracy in artificial intelligence and micro-electromechanical systems are […]


Global Meat

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Whether it fits or not I’ll make you get into it Let’s go back to the Mad Cow question after our brief look at it last week (see editorial “Poor Cows”). Now that the respective globalisation conferences in Davos and Porto Alegre have drawn to a close, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider […]


Poor Cows

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Men err, donkeys bray The crises unleashed by Mad Cow Disease and the depleted uranium used by NATO in Kosovo have a number of elements in common, almost all related to key aspects of the Information Society. First and foremost, apart from the way that European governments –and the US in part– have dealt with […]


Compulsory Digital Literacy

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

We live not on what we ingest but what we digest As Marshall McLuhan says, the moveable type press invented by Gutenberg changed the surroundings of our world completely and unexpectedly: it created the public. Or, to be more specific, it created an illiterate public. The invention of the printing press drew a dividing line […]


Five Little Wolves (*)

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Every drop of rain has a place to fall en.red.ando’s “+5 on the Internet” party turned out to be not just a celebration of the first five years of the magazine’s existence, but also a homage to five different ways of viewing the Net which have stood the test of time. The debate reunited a […]


The year of living hectically

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

What’s done is done. For what still has to be done, advice Five years have passed since en.red.ando’s first editorial. I could just repeat many of the things I said last year this time as we entered our fifth. However, looking back, 2000 has been, without doubt, the richest and most intense period in the […]


The S.24/7/p.a.

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh

Busiest men find the most leisure time The last few days of 2000 were peppered with the message hijacked from the tumultuous end of 1999, for, according to our particular calendar, we are just entering a new century and starting a new millennium. And, as so often happens on these occasions, although this time it’s […]