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    Book Review: Cyberpower: The Culture and Politics of Cyberspace and the Internet

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    missingyoumadly
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    Book Review: Cyberpower: The Culture and Politics of Cyberspace and the Internet

    Post by missingyoumadly on Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:41 pm

    I just stumbled on this book for three bucks in a record store, and read it over the weekend. It was published in 1999, but much of the information is relevant still...I would be fascinated to see a new edition with updates following the onset of facebook, twitter, and myspace, and also the astonishing capacity of the internet as it is today.

    Tim Jordan spends a good deal of time in the first chapter or two explaining two basic concepts which are crucial to the book: one, the history of the creation of the "internet" and definitions of terms therein...for example, various cyberpunk authors' ideas of "cyberspace" in literature. He discusses ARPANET and the first inter-military computer networks and how they became more functional and widespread over time, to the point at which they were a fixture in world culture (though at the time of the writing, online video was in its infancy).

    Next, he explains the idea of "power." I think this part of the book is very interesting. He pulls from a variety of sources for this discussion, but the ultimate point he makes is that power is relative to the people who are under the influence of power. In other words, you cannot have power over someone without resistance. Also, power can be vast or minute in scale. On the internet, he theorizes, power is much more equal among people. Taking away the mundane reality of every day life, a person online has an equal opportunity for power as anyone else. Thus, he feels, this is what can be beneficial to humanity over time.

    The book is very unbiased in its musings; however, there is the implication of the idea of a world without borders, though the phrase "New World Order" is never mentioned. He also discusses the duality of technology - that it can change the world for good or for evil depending on the power of those who are considered to be in control.

    Good read...check it out...would love to see some other books reviewed here, thought I would start the ball rolling! Smile
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    Extant
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    Re: Book Review: Cyberpower: The Culture and Politics of Cyberspace and the Internet

    Post by Extant on Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:30 am

    Thanks MM, looks an interesting book. Good buy at three dollars too eh? It's going for up to $180 brand new, and only as cheap as $71 second-hand.

    I'll do a review of "Altered States" by Paddy Chayefsky when I get through with it.
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    Lucid Memes
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    Re: Book Review: Cyberpower: The Culture and Politics of Cyberspace and the Internet

    Post by Lucid Memes on Tue May 12, 2009 6:07 am

    Thanks for the review of this book. I have a love hate relationship with technology. The internet obviously makes our lives better in many ways, but at the same time, I worry about the internet is being used to corral people into a type of information grid, from which they're easily profiled and monitored. That's the biggest threat I see from the internet; but other than that, it's great. And the theories that Jordan has about power and the internet sound promising.


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