Re: "local" vs "universal"

I think we ought to be a bit more critical of terms such as "global
technoscience." On the one hand, there is clearly such a thing as a global
drive for smaller, more precise, more powerful technologies. And yet there is
also implicit in the emergence of such technologies the possibility for more
and more "small" narratives to be communicated and to find expression. In
other words, there is a strange inversion in which a widespread tendency that
exhibits all the characteristics of a "grand narrative" turns and gives us
access to the small narratives and histories which might otherwise have
remained buried under the paper empire. In this way, the "local" and the
"global" might not be so far apart as we tend to think, or as much postmodern
theory, esp. Lyotard, has argued. This is not to rehearse the cliche to
"think globally; act locally," but to suggest that we scrutinize such
oppositions and examine how the specific opposition "local/global" is
functioning. It appears to be interested in dividing up responsibility and
response on the one hand, and in a certain "nomenclature" of
conflict/struggle on the other.

Rob Leventhal


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