Posted by: Richard Chennault | May 11, 2008

Controlled communication

When was the birth of corporate communications? When did human society become so subsumed with the control of information that it required communication control? Perhaps the prehistoric man knows and I bet so do we all. Information is life. It is colors are canvas, enriches are wallet and ends our misery if we are so lucky as to be the holder of its enlightening flame. Should we not have it; then we shiver in the cold, forgotten and waiting for it to come our way.  Drips and drabs it should come forth from those whose miserly control it leaks from.

Thus pondering, pontificating and debating of when communication control became essential to survival is fruitless.  The more important question would be how much of the corporate capital is spent on controlling information. That the information is and needs to be controlled is without question. It is naivete of the womb that anyone would believe that the corporation could function in a culture where information was created, produced and disseminated in equal fashion. Information is the key to capitalism, it is the lever that moves economies. Timber, oil and gold are but by-products of the real corporate asset. That asset is knowing where the trees are dense, the oil is plentiful and the gold, oh the gold, is rich.

Then it is with a great deal of interest that I look to study social media or if you must, Web 2.0. The pundits would have us believe that information liberation is at our door and we need only to open it in order to enjoy the fruits of corporate production. I once had a manager who was fond of saying, “Bull Shit”. That rings true of social media for the corporation. Web 2.0 may bring diverse, disperate and discontigous groups together but it is not the molatov cocktail thrown into the aparachic that brings down the czar.

No, not here in a western culture that is built upon manifest destiny and a never ending belief in a technological induced utopian future. Indeed the United States continues to anguish through the labour of awaiting the arrival of a techno-utopia where at last life is gained, liberty is had and happiness is caught. We toil, we endure and we look to our corporate super-capitalist to dribble out some new techno-gadgerty and declare your lives are better for unlike our forefathers we have the iPod where they had the loathsome sony walkman. We have high definition television where they had grainy black and white television. We have electricty to brighten the night where they gathered around the fire fearing the dimness beyond. Yet still we have not achieved the promise land. Our lives are full of empty baubles of technology, we Tivo our lives and google others. What have we done?

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