The Net Effect

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An overview of the history and impact of the growth of the Internet. The author highlights the connections between the various Net components (the Web, email, and other platforms and protocols) and places them in the wider context of society, its development, and continued evolution. The book is distributed by ISBS. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781841500393
  • Publisher: Intellect, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/28/2001
  • Pages: 192

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments iii
Foreword iv
Preamble 5
Morphing From IT to ET 6
Introduction: the Janus approach 8
Connections 9
How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix 11
The Importance of Nothing 14
Section 1 The long & winding slip-road 15
Anatomy of the Elegant Box 16
The War That Changed Everything 18
A Bodyguard of Lies 22
Tunny Turns the Tide 27
Swords Into MicroChips 30
A Decade of Secrets; Computers With Your Tea 34
Defense & the Big Bucks 37
Time of Transition 40
Racing to the Net 42
Section 2 Clear-eyed acumen & blind dreams 49
Tooled-Up 50
Scaredy-Cats 52
Embracing the Beast 58
Who's Spinning the Web? 63
Gallimaufry 69
Information 70
Entertainment & Leisure 73
Commerce 76
Section 3 The da Vinci syndrome 79
Under the Influence 80
The Virtual Architect 82
Not Crying Over Spilt Paint 83
Fuzzy Boundaries 86
The Book Unbound 89
Digi Display 94
POV 95
Bending Reality 97
Playtime 102
Inviting the Viewer 105
Fashioning Worlds 107
Lights, Camera, Let-Down 109
Reeling You In 112
Tinkle, Tinkle Little NetStar 114
Music to Your Ears 117
Next Stages 122
Buttressing the ThinkTank 125
Reaping Rewards 128
The Price of Talent 130
Section 4 The internet experience 131
WWWwhat else is there? 132
Here Be Dragons 137
I Want IT and I Want It Now 138
Worker Rights & Wrongs; Web Pros & Cons 141
Power to the Net People 147
Securing The Net 157
Slipping Through the Net 163
Learning CyberLessons 166
Community Spirit 167
Coda: quo vadis 169
Growing Like Topsy 170
Asking Better Questions 171
Okay, Wotcha Got Now? 173
Tomorrow 177
Index 180
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2002

    Surfing The Net Effect

    Surfing The Net Effect At a time when how-to-do-it books on computing spawn in a seemingly endless stream, Beth Porter has written an intelligent, highly readable book that has little to do with the how and a great deal to do with the why and where-to of the internet. The Net Effect, a well-illustrated, carefully documented, incisive theoretical work starts with the little known, virtually unwritten history of the internet and concludes with some futuristic speculations about the internet phenomenon. This book, although sophisticated, is absorbing and accessible to a reader, like me, who has only a basic general knowledge of the internet. Between the historical and the predictive are chapters that focus on the socio-cultural paradigm shift that has occurred and is still occurring as a consequence of rocketing internet growth. Two large sections of the book focus, first, on 'The da Vinci Syndrome,' or the dramatic rise in the close links between art and technology and, secondly, on the interconnectedness of all postmodern, non-linear human experience, fueled and supported by the internet. Porter examines and illustrates how the internet can connect virtually everyone to everyone else, how the net's democratic organization enables people not only to use the net effectively but to influence its direction, and how the net fosters interactivity among its users. Porter, an independent Media Consultant, award-winning website producer, and internationally known lecturer and writer on internet issues, displays a wide breadth of knowledge and experience that permeates every page of the book. But the book is far from pompous--spiced as it is by appealing anecdotes, recounted with wit and verve. For me, the most interesting section of the book is the chapter that deals with the technology of the internet and its impact on the contemporary arts scene. Drawing on and building upon her extensive background in theatre, film, and television, Porter explains lucidly some basic ways in which the internet has changed not only the contemporary artist's vision and production of art works but also the entire relationship between artist, art work, and audience. At its best, the internet can and does involve its audience more actively with the art work than was possible in the pre-internet era. As Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE comments in his foreword to The Net Effect, Beth Porter 'has written a totally accessible account of the history and effect of the new technology, with enthusiasm and flair, and without a hint of the expected nerdiness that would, I confess, ordinarily scare me off.' I couldn't agree with Lord Puttnam more. I read and re-read The Net Effect with great interest and emerged from my brief immersion in the history and theory of the internet with a much better understanding of its power and with much less fear of its impact. Arnold Newman Professor of English (Emeritus) Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

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