The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash Between Freedom and Control Is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System

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Basic Books, May 11, 2005 - Technology & Engineering - 320 pages
From Napster to Total Information Awareness to flash mobs, the debate over information technology in our lives has revolved around a single question: How closely do we want cyberspace to resemble the real world? Siva Vaidhyanathan enters this debate with a seminal insight: While we've been busy debating how to make cyberspace imitate the world, the world has been busy imitating cyberspace. More and more of our social, political, and religious activities are modeling themselves after the World Wide Web.Vaidhyanathan tells us the key information structure of our time, and the key import from cyberspace into the world, is the "peer-to-peer network." Peer-to-peer networks have always existed -- but with the rise of electronic communication, they are suddenly coming into their own. And they are drawing the outlines of a battle for information that will determine much of the culture and politics of our century, affecting everything from society to terrorism, from religion to the latest social fads. The Anarchist in the Library is a radically original look at how this battle defines one of the major fault lines of twenty-first-century civilization.
 

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User Review  - tyroeternal - LibraryThing

The title of the book and the slow beginning almost stopped me from giving serious consideration to this book. Fortunately I held on through all the ever widening turns to see how the author developed ... Read full review

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User Review  - PointedPundit - LibraryThing

A Critical Message Lost in the Haze I had a graduate school professor who used to talk about his fog index. This professor of Communications Theory believed, as do I, that writers and teachers who ... Read full review

Contents

Public Noises
1
The Ideology of PeertoPeer
15
Hacking the Currency
25
The PeertoPeer Revolution and the Future of Music
41
A Work in Progress or the Final Edit?
65
Imagineering
81
Culture as Anarchy
97
The Perfect Library
115
The Anarchy and Oligarchy of Science and Math
131
The NationState Versus Networks
151
The Empire Strikes Back
167
Conclusion
185
Bibliography
221
Index
245
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About the author (2005)

Siva Vaidhyanathan, a cultural historian and media scholar, is Director of Communication Studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of Culture and Communication at New York University. His research has been profiled on National Public Radio, CNN, International Herald-Tribune Television, and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. He lives in New York City.

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