Release 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age

Front Cover
Broadway Books, 1997 - Business & Economics - 307 pages
Welcome to Esther Dyson's provocative and visionary new book, "Release 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age. In this eagerly anticipated book, Dyson--an entrepreneur, high-tech industry analyst, government adviser, and the "most powerful woman in the Net-erati," according to the "New York Times Magazine--presents a fascinating exploration of our new digital society. She offers a detailed view of the rapidly expanding digital environment and provides a framework that will allow all of us to think intelligently about its effect on every aspect of our private and public lives.
Written with an insider's knowledge and a ready wit, and filled with anecdotes about the movers and shakers behind both products and policy, "Release 2.0 provides readers with a full understanding of the new world of cyberspace and shows how it is transforming the way we work and live. With a perspective at once authoritative and totally accessible, she outlines the choices and questions readers face as active citizens helping to define and shape a new social contract for the digital age. As Dyson explains, "The Net gives awesome power to individuals--the ability to be heard across the world, the ability to find information. But with this greater ability to exercise their rights, or abuse them, individuals will need to exercise greater responsibility for their own actions and for the world they are creating."
In "Release 2.0, Dyson charts the implications of the Internet for business, government, education, communities, and individuals, and illuminates the fundamental conflicts in the spread of digital communication: conflicts between personal privacy and society's interest in openness, betweensecurity and freedom, between commerce and community, between government oversight and personal autonomy, between flourishing creativity and the protection of intellectual property.
As Dyson makes clear, the digital society will bring profound shifts in the balance of power between producers and consumers, governments and citizens, the mass media and their audiences. Now the challenge, and the opportunity, is for citizens to resolve these conflicts and trade-offs in their own public and private communities.
Throughout, Dyson's message is prescriptive and proactive: If we want to make the world a better place, with the advent of the Internet we have both the opportunity and the power to shape the new rules we want to live by. And, to demonstrate, Dyson shares her own short list of rules for being a citizen of the Net--from "Use your judgment," and "Ask questions" to "Be a producer" and "Always make new mistakes"--and invites each of us to create our own rules.
Lively, informative, and always challenging, "Release 2.0 will speak to all readers looking to understand and design our new digital society.

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