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partnerships:articles:coda1 [2017/06/12 10:20] (current)
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 +Overcoming scepticism in Nottingham
 +===================================
 +
 +\
 + [Jem Woolley](mailto:​coda@codadata.demon.co.uk),​
 +coda@codadata.demon.co.uk wrote this article in 1997.\
 +
 +------------------------------------------------------------------------
 +
 +\
 +
 +It can take some effort to overcome suspicion about new technology.
 +Groups in Nottingham are now taking a positive view.
 +
 +------------------------------------------------------------------------
 +
 +\
 + When Nottingham'​s Community Computer Resource Centre - Coda - was set
 +up in 1983 personal computers as we know them know didn't really exist
 +and there was scepticism, even hostility, in the voluntary sector.
 +Computers were viewed as threats to jobs and harbingers of more
 +alienation in the workplace. Nevertheless,​ some people involved in
 +community and voluntary action realised that the clock wouldn'​t be
 +turned back and that, like any tool, computers were neither good nor bad
 +in themselves - it was the use they were put to that was important.\
 +\
 + Now many groups have their own computers and are more comfortable with
 +them, although they are often used as little more than word processors
 +and calculators.\
 +\
 + There will always be areas of mystique and scepticism in computing and
 +the main ones at the moment are virtual reality, artificial intelligence
 +and the Internet. VR and AI won't generate too much interest at
 +community group level until they become much cheaper and more
 +accessible.\
 +\
 + The Internet is a different matter: it is fairly cheap to use and has
 +enormous potential for community development. Ideas can spread quickly
 +with information accessed from all over the world. Forums can be set up
 +for discussion and action. There is potential for decentralisation of
 +power away from the traditional centres.\
 +\
 + The downside is the suspicion that the Internet is viewed with and, as
 +usual, this is partly based in reality and partly in fantasy. Most of
 +the big media stories concerning the Internet have been to do with
 +pornography and security. There are justifiable concerns about the ease
 +with which images and text can travel across national boundaries and
 +into every home and office.\
 +\
 + ​Several groups in Nottingham are working towards a positive view. Coda
 +itself now has an Internet facility available at cost price and provides
 +training in this area. A forum has been started including Coda, Active
 +Ingredient (a group of artists), Nottingham Community Arts and
 +representatives from Trent University and Nottingham City Council.
 +Working around issues of using the Internet for artistic expression and
 +dissemination,​ this forum aims to increase public access to on-line
 +facilities and encourage artists to work in the medium.\
 +\
 + Coda is also researching ways in which small groups could develop their
 +own web presence and go on-line. On a wider scale there is EMNET, and
 +East Midlands wide network of private, public and voluntary sector
 +sites.\
 +\
 + One thing is sure: developments in computing won't stop yet, if ever.
 +Even with all our justifiable doubts about the hype and the dangers of
 +the Internet, maybe because of them, it's vital to be involved and
 +setting the agenda. If we don't, someone else will.\
 +\
 + <​http://​www.emnet.co.uk/​coda/>​\
 + Coda is Nottingham'​s Community Computer Resource Centre\
 + ​Phone:​ +44 (0)115 952 6146\
 + ​Postal:​ 7B Broad Street, Nottingham, NG1 3AJ UK
 +
  
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