The Newsletter 58 Autumn 2011

The making of Southeast Asian silicon valleys: the perspective of the geeks

Zane Kripe

Although many parts of Southeast Asia lag behind in terms of Internet penetration, recent years have witnessed an explosion of Internet use across the region, largely supported by the increasing accessibility of mobile technologies, growing digital literacy and the popularity of social media. As the information and communication technologies (ICTs) become more pervasive across the region, there are more and more young people who see their lives inextricably tied to technologies not only as users, but also as creators. Software developers and hardware engineers, hackers, new media specialists or technology enthusiasts in general, who refer to themselves and each other as geeks, are not only to be found in Silicon Valley. Young men (and to a lesser extent, young women) in Singapore, Bandung, Kuala Lumpur and elsewhere, also try to take part in and benefit from the so-called digital revolution, by exchanging knowledge, collaborating and celebrating the geek culture or ‘geekdom’.

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