Internet Dreams: Archetypes, Myths, and Metophors for Inventing the Net

Internet Dreams: Archetypes, Myths, and Metophors for Inventing the Net

by Mark J. Stefik, Vinton G. Cerf
     
 

Foreword by Vinton Cerf


"Before we build, we imagine. And the trajectory of imaginations-past tells volumes about futures to come. Stefik has assembled a brilliant collection of visions to ponder. Read closely, and you will catch a clear glimpse of the possibilities that lie ahead."
-- Paul Saffo, Director, Institute For

Overview

Foreword by Vinton Cerf


"Before we build, we imagine. And the trajectory of imaginations-past tells volumes about futures to come. Stefik has assembled a brilliant collection of visions to ponder. Read closely, and you will catch a clear glimpse of the possibilities that lie ahead."
-- Paul Saffo, Director, Institute For the Future
The stakes are high -- metaphors can have an impact on the legal and policy aspects of the future of the Internet as well as its technical design and economic structure. Internet Dreams illuminates not only how "the Net" is being created, but also stories about ourselves as our lives become electronically interconnected.

Ancient myths meet modern networks. Carl Jung and others maintain that our dreams speak to us in terms of archetypes and symbols. These symbols are often universal. They reveal much about our common humanity and how we see ourselves. These symbols also appear in our patterns of speech, reflecting in our choice of metaphor how we shape our understanding of things.

The Internet, the emerging embodiment of the modern information infrastructure, is now entering our social consciousness. So what metaphors do we use in talking about it and thinking about it? The "information superhighway" metaphor, for a while ubiquitous in the popular press, gives only a limited sense of what the Internet is and what it could be.

Mark Stefik explores some of the most provocative writings about the Internet to tease out the deeper metaphors and myths. He finds four persistent metaphors -- digital library, electronic mail, electronic marketplace, and digital world. These metaphors are based on ancient myths and archetypes that have influenced human thinking for thousands of years: keeper of knowledge (the digital library), communicator (electronic mail), the trader (electronic marketplace), and the adventurer (digital world). Recast in the setting of high technology they are still powerful guides, capable of refreshing our sense of direction and purpose in creating the Internet.


Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262193733
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
02/29/2000
Pages:
436
Product dimensions:
6.33(w) x 9.33(h) x 1.20(d)

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