Analog Days-- How Technology Rewrote Our Futureby Alexander Alben
With a career that began
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Those of us born before 1980 increasingly cannot recognize the world around us. Our rapid adoption of mobile phones, computers and the Internet have transformed the way we communicate and this technical revolution has had profound social effects, splitting our society into “Analog” and “Digital” cultures.
With a career that began as a researcher for CBS Anchorman Walter Cronkite and continuing as a Hollywood studio and software company executive, Alex Alben provides insight into where we have been and how new technology is "reformatting" our politics and culture. Based in Seattle, the author recalls his work at Starwave, which created ESPN.com and other pioneering web sites, as well as the innovative music and video products launched during his tenure at RealNetworks, Inc.
The new digital world is disorienting for many of us. How did things change so rapidly? What happened to trusted authorities and journalism? Why does the new digital culture celebrate speed and brevity over thoughtful analysis?
Analog Days maps the key inventions that changed our society over the past few decades and traces how these technologies reshaped television, newspapers and the way we communicate with each other through social media platforms born in the last seven years.
Drawing on the author’s career in both old and new media, Analog Days provides a brief history of changes in the way the public receives news and how digital inventions have shaped our political discourse around important events, including how we fight wars overseas.
After outlining three revolutions in digital technology, the author draws the connection between how people use technology to access data and how our media landscape has changed as a result, creating phenomenon such as fake news and political candidates primed for the Twitter and Facebook era.
The book dives into Internet conspiracies, the cyber-social protests that constitute the “Arab Spring” and the problems raised by WikiLeaks’ release of diplomatic cables.
Finally, Alben describes how the mass culture of the baby boom generation has been replaced by a personal culture, defined by user-generated content and social networks. At the extreme, new virtual worlds allow people to create alter egos and act out fantasies, but a growing number of tragic cases remind us that these virtual worlds can intersect with real world criminal activity.
This book is one of the first efforts to step back to identify the values of the Analog era and examine whether they will survive in the new digital world.
The speed of technological transformation has far outstripped our understanding o
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Meet the Author
Alex Alben began his career working for Walter Cronkite and Mike Wallace at CBS News in New York. After attending Stanford Law School, he worked as a motion picture attorney for Orion Pictures and Warner Bros. studio.
Moving to Seattle in 1993, Alben joined pioneering Internet companies Starwave Corp. and RealNetworks, Inc., where he helped launch products that shaped the distribution of music and news online.
He is also the author of "Our Man In Mongoa," (Scribners), a novel.
He writes a regular guest column about technology and media for The Seattle Times.
"Analog Days--How Technology Rewrote Our Future" is Alben's first non-fiction book.
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