Biotechnology and Communication: The Meta-Technologies of by Sandra Braman

By Sandra Braman

Following an introductory research of every shared meta-technological area, the booklet examines the impression of biotechnology on how we comprehend info in human conversation, meta-technologies and the legislation, and communicative dimensions of biotechnology and gear. the variety of views provided through the members - who draw on theories from verbal exchange, cultural stories, sociology, info technological know-how, economics and legislation - makes transparent that informational meta-technologies are reworking the subject material and context for learn and scholarship around the social sciences.

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Now known as the Codex Alimentarius, this agreement deals with a number of issues important to those involved in biotechnology, such as treatment of microorganisms. The impact of biotechnology on diverse arenas of international relations is discussed in more detail elsewhere (Braman, 2002a). In summary, the collection and redistribution of biological information was central to the imperial enterprise, and thus to the structuration processes shaping the global trade system. The transition to meta-technological treatment of genetic information, however, has destabilized the global structure as actors of a wide variety of types—many historically without any real power in either the international or, sometimes, local arenas—learn how to use the new forms of power that have become available.

Of course there are two meanings of public good. Politically, a public good has positive value for society as a whole and thus should be accessible to all. Economically, a public good is nonexcludable (potential users cannot be excluded from use) and nonrivalrous (one person’s use of the good does not keep others from using it). Digital information is clearly a public good in the second sense and considered by many to be a public good in the first sense, yet it is often treated as a private good as a result of its embedding within or reliance on material goods that can be owned through the legal creation of intellectual property rights.

18 BRAMAN Cultural Homogenization. Cultural homogenization is one of the most common complaints about the effects of the globalization of human communication systems that has been so exacerbated with digital information technologies. Cultural homogeneity—known as monoculture when applied to agriculture—is also a consequence of the use of biotechnology; it is of enormous concern not only because of its effects on human culture, but also because of its environmental costs and the vulnerabilities it induces.

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