Congratulations – If you are reading this you are part of the Global Digital Culture of 2012 and beyond

The end of the year is coming to a close, hell, who knows if even the much talked about Mayan apocalyptic end could be upon us (as even Australia’s Prime Minister is warning us about):

But whether we are invaded by flesh eating zombies or whether we are allowed to continue to web our insignificant microcosmic lives in this infinite universe, if I were to find a word that marked 2012  for me, I would borrow the expression “Epic change ^(” from  fellow blogger Tim Rayner.

Having started Digital cultures and translation this year has dragged me into the vortex of digital global communications and into a speedy and steady flow of digital conversations, causes, actions,  petitions, exchanges, advocacy, praise and complaint… a vortex that engulfs everything you do because whatever it is you are thinking or reading or writing, you want to share it, comment it, like it or dislike it, post it, tweet it, pin it, learn it, tumblr it… you name it – you just want others to be part of what you are thinking,  whether it is with an image, a video, a haiku (Yepirate ^( being the best at that!), a tender poem (like Subhan Zein ^(’s), an amazing animation (Nonoymanga ^( or a full-fledged, brilliantly written and extremely informative articles like those by Storiesbywilliam ^(’s.

Exchanging conversations with the great pirate of the Laplands about all things ‘independence’ or with fellow translators from Russia, Italy, China about the future of this profession now more and more threatened by low Internet job rates and technological advancements that tend to replace at least some of the translator’s previous tasks, I have come to think about the existence of a global cultural identity, a virtual place where a catalan born Australian resident talks about Scottish independence with a Finish “pirate’ while exchanging sci-fi best moments with a prolific writer from the US.  A space where time and place are irrelevant, where political boundaries are non-existent. An egalitarian space open to everyone.

Yes, very nice, very romantic, very utopian.

But can we really say we have we accomplished this somewhat superior stage in global cultural identity?

Hang on, let’s rewind.

Here I am, talking about a Global Cultural identity when elsewhere in this very same blog I refused to commit to even a definition of culture. In the concluding remarks of that same article I wondered:

1.    Is it possible to have the endless number of conceptualisations of the world that each and everyone one of us create justly represented in today’s digital world [in order to then create an ensemble of world representations called perhaps, ‘global culture]?

2.    Is it our responsibility to make a concerted effort to ensure that cultural/personal/generational/gender/etc diversity is fairly represented on the net or,the endless number of conceptualisations of the world that each and everyone one of us create justly represented in today’s digital world [in order to then create an ensemble of world representations called perhaps, ‘global culture]?

3.    Should we take this unique chance to move towards a universalised digital world?

I’ve had more than six months since I started DGAT to think about these issues and at this stage I think my answers will have to be:

 Yes – Yes – No.

Yes, I think there is now and endless and ever growing number of conceptualisations of the world imprinted in the net – your blog, your poem, your image, your song, your haiku, your critique, your petition, each and every form of expression says something about the way each one of us mirrors our reality. Every single one of those representations are a unique, inimitable sliver of our history that merges with endless others to form a morphing global entity we could call “global digital culture”.

The concept I have in mind, however, differs from  (in fact, it is antagonistic to) some of the meanings assigned to global or mass culture by the media – the homogenised, westernised consummer imperialistic culture that dominates in malls around the world.

My understanding of Global Digital Culture resembles Roland Robertson’s ^( Symmetrical Global Gemeinschaft 2 – a microcosm of ordered equal communities and individuals with considerable sociocultural exchange among them. In this construct, global order rests on a globe-wide collective conscience where humankind is the pivotal ingredient of the world as a whole. The dangers of mass consumer globalisation are here to be overcome by a commitment to the communal unity of the human species. Universalism and particularism intertwined become both a basic feature of our global digital world. This entity is committed to a world system of societies that constitutes the major unavoidable dimension of the contemporary global human condition much like recent peace and environmental movements or even romantic Marxism have done.

So, to answer question number one, YES, I do believe it is possible to have an endless number of conceptualisations of the world represented on the net, in fact, I believe that is what’s happening as we speak. We are creating a timeless, egalitarian space source of curated knowledge and representation of historical opinions for our future generations. This space is at once universal and personalised and generally reactionary.

And, to answer my own question number two, it sure is our responsibility to encourage diversity in this universal sub-culture when we are facing such a daunting extermination of traditional practices everywhere. David Rieff, senior fellow  ^( the World Policy Institute says: 

“We are stuck with the global culture, just as we are stuck with world capitalism. Like the latter, the former will be more or less successful in different parts of the world. […] Those who yearn for authenticity, for the preservation or restoration of the traditional, will not prevail because of the brute fact that traditional societies – of which traditional culture is a product – cannot support their populations in a period of rapid increases in the world population.”

I believe we have an obligation to use what’s been given to us to use it as an antidote to the negative effects of globalisation everwhere, speak for those that cannot speak on their own, share  the knowledge that should not be the privilege of just a wealthy elite and promote causes that are worth promoting. So far, we are doing a pretty good job of it:

Let’s enter 2013 doing what we do best, improving on it and encouraging others to contribute to this community, always retaining our virtual/real identity, never (and here comes the answer to my third and last question) aiming to lose it by creating an amorphous  entity that gobbles up our personal DNA.

Blog of the 2012 year award nominations

Somewhere in the infinity that is the Internet universe, The Blazing trail ( ^( has found DCAT and felt it deserved to be nominated for the:

Whatever use of words I chose to show The Blazing trail my appreciation will not compare to the skillful art of narrative shown in this site – a prove that the digital community has an immense pool of hidden talent that needs to be nurtured and shared.

And in order to do so, these are the other blogs I nominate for the Blog of the 2012 year award:

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‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Rules

(This has been copied word for word for accuracy. It is suggested you do the same…makes posting easy!)

Do you know a blog that deserves an award? Do you have special blogs that you love to read? Which blogs do you bookmark and follow? Would you like to give them an award this year? Then the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award is for you!  The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.

2 Write a blog post and name/tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page Blog of the Year 2012 Award  ^( include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join The Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group ^( and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…  Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect! Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different! When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star! There are a total of 6 stars to collect. Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Badges There are six badges for you to collect – you can either ‘swap’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award – or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award six times! ~ Need to know more? Check out the FAQ page And Congratulations! on being chosen for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award! ~‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – thumbnails Here are the 6 awards in thumbnail size for your sidebar – feel free to Right Click and save any of the images on this page:

© Blog of the Year Award
© Blog of the Year Award
© Blog of the Year Award
© Blog of the Year Award

And if you are planning on having a break, go ahead and enjoy some re-energising time. I hope to get inspired by the gorgeous mountain tracks in New Zealand