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In this remarkably comprehensive but concise and useful book, Robin Mansell summarizes key debates, and reviews the contributions of major thinkers in communication systems, economics, politics, sociology, psychology, and systems theory-from Norbert Wiener to Brian Arthur and Manuel Castells, and from Gregory Bateson to William Davidow and Sherry Turkle. This is an interdisciplinary and critical analysis of the way we experience the Internet in front of the screen, and of the developments behind the screen, all of which have implications for privacy ,security, intellectual property rights, and the overall governance of the Internet.
The author presents fairly the ideas of the celebrants and the sceptics, and reminds us of the continuing need for careful, critical, and informed analysis of the paradoxes and challenges of the Internet, offering her own views on how we might move to greater empowerment, and suggesting policy measures and governance approaches that go beyond those commonly debated.
This concise book will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the challenges the Internet presents in the twenty-first century, and the debates and research that can inform that understanding.
It's possible that a society of educated people is likely to be more cultured and scientific-minded than one of non-graduates, and this should have positive externalities in the form of better political discourse and higher culture. There is, however, little evidence of this in practice.
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