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WRITING-AND-THE-DIGITAL-LIFE  June 2005

WRITING-AND-THE-DIGITAL-LIFE June 2005

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Subject:

Re: the dark side of cyberspace

From:

"J.Rice" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 1 Jun 2005 09:42:37 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (1 lines)

And Mark Dery's - now dated but still fascinating - Escape

Velocity.



Jeff



---- Original message ----

>Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2005 09:28:31 -0400

>From: "George P. Landow" <[log in to unmask]>  

>Subject: Re: [WDL] the dark side of cyberspace  

>To: [log in to unmask]

>

>Three good places to begin:

>

>A. Eugene F. Provenzo's small paperback Beyond the Gutenberg

Galaxy: 

>Microcomputers and the Emergence of Post-Typographic Culture

(NY: 

>Teacher's College Press, 1986), which saw the potential for 

>surveillance long before the WWW and data mining.

>

>B. William J. Mitchell's ME++ — The Cyborg Self and the

Networked City 

>(MIT Press, 2003). This last part of a triad of books by

someone who 

>has previously been a cyber-utopian has been affected by

9/11. Among 

>other things Mitchell points out that an address both makes

information 

>easy to reach you AND makes you a target.

>

>Basically both books embody what I'd consider one of the main

laws of 

>media (or infotech): NO FREE LUNCH, or every medium from

speech through 

>writing, printing, networked computing always has gains and

losses. 

>Asynchronous communication, such as is found in e-mail and

scholarly 

>articles, permits abstraction, time for reflection,

close-reasoning at 

>the cost of immediacy, presence, and so on. (My forthcoming

Hypertext 

>3.0 has a long section on this issue, so I won't go on any

more about 

>it.)

>

>C. The Cyberpunk school of science fiction early concerned

itself with 

>the dark side of networked cyberculture, everything from the

prevalence 

>of surveillance to the destruction of the nation-state by its

inability 

>to stop the flow of money across physical borders. If you

don't know 

>Neal Stephenson's Snowcrash and The Diamond Age,  William

Gibson's 

>Neuromancer trilogy, Bruce Sterling's Islands in the Net, 

and Pat 

>Cadigan's novels, you're both in for a treat and some

sleepless nights. 

>I don't think there's anything we're going to say that they

haven't 

>already made part of their narratives.  Stephenson's

Snowcrash has, 

>among other things, wonderfully funny satire about the federal 

>government bureaucracy, gated communities, and franchises

more powerful 

>than nation-states.

>

>There're some interesting discussion of these issues at

>

>http://www.cyberartsweb.org/cpace/scifi/ns/studentov.html

>

>cheers

>

>g

>

>George P. Landow

>Professor of English and Art History

>Brown University

>

>www.landow.com









--------------

J.Rice

Assistant Professor of English

Wayne State University

http://www.english.wayne.edu/People/faculty/ricej/index2.html

http://www.ydog.net/gm/



"Let me put my sunglasses on. That's the law around here, you got to wear your sunglasses. So you can feel cool."

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