Digital Shock

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 2006 - Computers - 280 pages
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Hervé Fischer believes that the digital revolution is a definitive moment in human history, as important as the discovery of fire. Deceptively quiet, it is invasive, radical and affects all aspects of human activity. Fischer cautions that we need to develop a cyber-philosophy to confront this new reality. In Digital Shock, the first English translation of his critically acclaimed Le Choc du numérique: Á l'aube d'une nouvelle civilization, le triomphe des cyberprimitifs, Fischer warns that we must take a critical approach to these immensely beneficial, yet potentially devastating, technologies. The challenge, argues Fischer, is to avoid falling into cyber-primitivism - into allowing new technologies to enslave us by enshrining a symbolic, virtual cyber-world and powerful techno-scientific utopia. This could lead to another Middle Ages, destroying the modern idea of a political and social utopia. From cyberspace to artificial intelligence to genetic engineering, Digital Shock exposes the relationships between human beings and digital technology and examines our response to the myths and promises of the digital revolution.
 

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Contents

A Yoyo Universe
19
The Digital Metaphor for the World
35
Are We Losing Our Memory?
55
The Internet Tower of Babel
74
Digital Arts Multimedia and Interactivity
102
The Promises of Convergence
121
The Digital Angel
142
Cash and Digital Economics
151
Cyberpathologies and Cybertherapies
204
Internet Curiosities and Follies
209
Cyberviolence and Cyberwar
228
Electronic Primitivism
238
The Magical Click and the Digital Imagination
243
The Digital Golden Calf
251
The Thirty Paradoxical Laws of the Digital
255
Notes
261

Global Utopia and Digital Apartheid
167
Wired Schools and Virtual Universities
187

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About the author (2006)

Herve Fischer, a multi-media artist and philosopher, is the author of numerous critically acclaimed books, including The Hyper Planet, The Decline of the Hollywood Empire and Couleurs et societes. He was awarded the first Leonardo Makepeace Tsao Award by

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