Does the idea of being in a state of ‘permanent flux, constant change, and structural indeterminacy’ leave you feeling a little flat? According to Mark Deuze, the author of Liquid Life, Convergence Culture and Media Work, these are the characteristics of contemporary work practices which have grown from our global society’s rapid adoption of new media technologies. This is the modern, technologically enhanced working environment which for the individual
increasingly includes (re-) schooling and training, unlearning ‘old’ skills while
adapting to changing technologies and management demands, moving from project to
project, and navigating one’s career through an at times bewildering sea of loose affiliations,
temporary arrangements, and informal networks.
Welcome to today’s society where the family unit consists of individual ‘nodes‘ operating within a networked society, always on, always checking for feedback. We have become overloaded ‘personal information spaces’ fuelled by our insatiable appetite for the newest mobile technologies with access to information rich media platforms which are expanding at an exponential rate. The boundaries between family, social and working life are breaking down and an individual’s life can be seen as being ‘liquid‘ as it is compelled to flow over a number of different platforms.
The ‘knowledge worker‘, a term first used by Peter Drucker in his book The Age of Discontinuity (1969), deals with the intangibility of processing information. We are constantly acting as filtration systems for information and those of us who are unable to operate on this level effectively, risk becoming overwhelmed. The up side to the production of all this information is the propagation of lots of knowledge. As Clay Shirky tells us, we just have to learn how to manage it! In 1597 Francis Bacon said ‘knowledge is power‘ and those lucky enough to be in possession of the afore mentioned, are more likely to be in the, shall we say, financial way.
If you are looking for sympathy in this new information age you will find yourself sadly lacking. It appears that the individual has gained so much from having access to the internet however we must ask ourselves, at what cost? I will finish this post with a quote from Kevin Kelly’s book New Rules for the New Economy published who in 1998 states:
When it comes to control, there is plenty of room at the bottom. What we are discovering is that peer-based networks with millions of parts, minimal oversight, and maximum connection among them can do far more than anyone ever expected. We don’t yet know what the limits of decentralization are.
So you see that we are just a part ‘at the bottom’ that is perhaps being pushed to its limits.
Deuze, M. (2006) ‘Liquid Life, Convergence Culture, and Media Work‘, viewed 20 August 2014,
Garcia,J 2001,Scientia Potestas Est Knowledge Is Power: Francis Bacon to Michel Faucault, In Neohelicon, Vol28, N1, January 2001,p. 109, viewed 20 August 2014,
Kelly, K. (1999) ‘This new economy’. In: New Rules for the new Economy, viewed 20 August 2014,
Node (networking), Wikipedia, Viewed 20 August 2014,
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