Digital Mythologies: The Hidden Complexities of the Internet

Digital Mythologies: The Hidden Complexities of the Internet

by Thomas Valovic
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813527546

ISBN-13: 9780813527543

Pub. Date: 12/28/1999

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

Surf the web. Ride the information highway. Log on to the future. Corporate ad campaigns like these became pervasive in the 1990s, and will doubtless continue into the new millennium. You're either online, or you're falling behind the times-at least, that's what the media tells us.

Since the beginning of the 1990s, when the Internet gained widespread popularity, it

Overview

Surf the web. Ride the information highway. Log on to the future. Corporate ad campaigns like these became pervasive in the 1990s, and will doubtless continue into the new millennium. You're either online, or you're falling behind the times-at least, that's what the media tells us.

Since the beginning of the 1990s, when the Internet gained widespread popularity, it has been heralded as one of the most revolutionary technologies ever. Commentators expected it to redefine how we communicate, do business, and educate our children. Conversely, other pundits vehemently attacked this technology. Naysayers of "cyberlife" emerged with their warnings of how the Net provides an uncensored, around-the-clock venue for pornography and inaccurate, simplified information; it is rife with opportunities to violate our right to privacy. In Digital Mythologies, Thomas Valovic hopes to raise the level of discussion by giving a full and balanced picture of how the Net affect our lives.

Digital Mythologies asks hard questions about where information technology is taking us. Through anecdotes drawn from his experiences as former editor-in-chief of Telecommunications magazine, the author gives readers a peek behind the scenes of the Internet industry. He explores the underlying social and political implications of the Net and its associated technologies, based on his contention that the cyberspace experience is far more complex that is commonly assumed. Valovic explores these hidden complexities, and points to fascinating connections between the Internet and our contemporary culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813527543
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
12/28/1999
Pages:
242
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.97(d)

Table of Contents

Prefaceix
Virtual Dreams3
Virtual Folklore: Breaking the News about the Internet4
Point of No Return: Crossing the Virtual Threshold11
When Cultures Collide: The Internet versus the "Great Conversation"22
Internet Economics: The Complex Synergies of Wealth Creation26
The Evolutionary Implications of the Internet33
Notes from Santa Fe: The Internet as a Complex Adaptive System37
Virtual Nightmares41
Work, Leisure, and the Overthrow of Matter42
Tube Time: Power Cocooning for Fun and Profit47
Quality of Information: The Human Bandwidth Problem50
Information Overload: A Challenge for Human Productivity?54
The Electronic Agora and the Death of History60
Interiority: Our Most Precious Natural Resource64
Electronic Mediation and Technological Dependency71
The Psychopathology of Online Life74
Yellow Alert: Massive System Vulnerability81
The Electronic Polity87
The Complexities of Role and Identity in Cyberspace88
Spin Doctors Invade Net--Film at Eleven96
The Strange Obscurantism of the Virtual World107
Virtual Schmoozing: The Ever Popular Cocktail Party Effect114
A Postmodern Dilemma: Are All Ideas Created Equal?118
The Myth of Electronic Democracy: A Reality Check121
Digital Culture133
Why Wired Is Tired: The Transformation of Technology into Culture134
Random Thoughts on the Defining Works of Cyberculture147
The New Media: Tossing Out the Rules156
The Internet and Spirituality: A Strange Brew Indeed161
The EFF and Net Politics: Technocracy in the Making?166
Telecom Unchained: Privatizing the Public Network171
Science, Culture, and the Internet177
Is Science Our National Religion?178
Back to the Future: Science Fiction as Mythology182
Mediated Society: The Cybersomething That Lies beyond Gesellschaft187
Orwell Reconsidered: The Paradox of Decentralization197
Is Cyberspace a Trojan Horse for Technocracy?202
Science, Spirituality, and the Crisis of Epistemology205
Notes213
Bibliography215
Index217

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