The Sciences

Who's Ahead, Who's Behind--And Who's Missing the Point

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyAug 4, 2010 9:14 PM

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Here’s an excerpt from my second post at the Techonomy blog–which is on the morning's workshop about the global spread of information and communication technologies. You can read the full post here.

Unlike my fellow blogger Marshall Kirkpatrick, I don't have anything too astute to say about the opening pre-conference workshop of Techonomy—hosted by the World Economic Forum and entitled “How to measure the impact and transformational power of technology?” But I do have a remark on how sophisticated conversations like this one often get mashed into meaningless by media coverage--which is why we need ideas-oriented conferences like Techonomy in the first place. The morning's workshop centered on a regularly released World Economic Forum report—better described as a brick, really; this thing is massive—entitled the "Global Information Technology Report." If that sounds wonky, it is. But it's also a crucial document for tracking just how countries are doing when it comes to getting their citizens online, and upgrading and improving their information and communications technologies. Whenever the "GITR" comes out, observed its co-author Soumitra Dutta, the press uses its release as an occasion for tech horse race stories—e.g., Sweden ranked # 1 in “networked readiness,” Singapore # 2, and so on. Woo hoo. Journalists cover such data almost like they would a presidential campaign....KEEP READING.

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