¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 This paper examines what kind of models might appropriately describe the activity of the people involved in these electronic channels of communication and investigates how these models fare in practice through ethnographic research. Commentators on matters regarding digital technology rarely resist the temptation to predict future trends, even though “the direction and nature of technology does not follow some inevitable trajectory.” [Mackay 1995: 50] Any attempts at futurology should therefore be tempered by the caveat that the future is discontinuous with the past. [Kumar 1972]
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Moreover, it seems that “while sci-fi writers and technology builders are generally uncritical of these trends, it remains to be seen to what extent and in what concrete ways the transformations envisioned by them are in the process of becoming real.” [Escobar 1994: 214] It would be a great feat of imagination to make accurate predictions while so much of what currently occurs languishes largely unexamined. This paper therefore seeks to illuminate some of the dynamics of existing cyberspace communities, rather than make predictions about the nature of those to come.