By Andrew Calcutt
Transcending fresh makes an attempt to pigeonhole 'the details revolution', this booklet indicates how the paradoxical elements of latest media and the net (is it masculine or female? Does it suggest peace or war?) are the specially severe expression of the contradictions underlying our complete society. Andrew Calcutt is an enthusiastic champion of the possibility of new communications know-how, and a trenchant critic of the tradition of worry which prevents its realisation.
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Additional info for White Noise: An A–Z of the Contradictions in Cyberculture
Cairncross also predicted that: the death of distance as a determinant of the cost of communications will probably be the single most important economic force shaping society in the first half of the next century ... Its effects will be as pervasive as those of the discovery of electricity. 3 In the race to commercialize cyberspace, the readership of The Economist ('suits') has been joined by a cohort of ex-nerds ('suits with ponytails'). Leaving behind the free-speak associated with 'cyberutopians', they are now competing with the majors for pole position in the digitocracy.
The free contest for power which was always the hallmark of democratic debate has been subsumed into an endless quest for self-expression; and the voice of the majority can be dismissed as 'the mob's baying howl'. Such is the contradictory character of cyberculture that anything approaching democracy would itself be regarded as anti-democratic. Equality/elitism The linking of the world's people to a vast exchange of information and ideas is a dream that technology is set to deliver. It will bring economic progress, strong democracies, better environmental management, improved healthcare and a greater sense of shared stewardship of our small planet.
We've got the Microsoft Network, MSNBC, Slate, Cityscape. We're trying a variety of things. Some won't be successful and some will. Even five years out, they won't be as large as the other three. ', a Q&A session with Bill Gates, USA Today 15 October 1996. Last year a rebel band of some of the world's biggest computer firms began to argue that 'Network computers' - stripped down computers connected to a network that holds most of their software and data - would shortly overtake the ubiquitous personal computer.