By Douglas Rushkoff

The debate over even if the web is nice or undesirable for us fills the airwaves and the blogosphere. yet for all of the warmth of declare and counter-claim, the argument is largely irrelevant: It’s right here; it’s all over. the true query is, will we direct expertise, or can we permit ourselves be directed by means of it and people who have mastered it? “Choose the former,” writes Rushkoff, “and you achieve entry to the keep watch over panel of civilization. decide on the latter, and it can be the final actual selection you get to make.”

In ten chapters, composed of ten “commands” observed through unique illustrations from comedian artist Leland Purvis, Rushkoff presents cyber lovers and technophobes alike with the ideas to navigate this new universe.

In this lively, available poetics of latest media, Rushkoff alternatives up the place Marshall McLuhan left off, aiding readers come to acknowledge programming because the new literacy of the electronic age––and as a template wherein to work out past social conventions and tool constructions that experience vexed us for hundreds of years. it is a pleasant little ebook with an enormous and actionable message.

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All the social price of the trade was once lost—and the cash itself left the neighborhood. This pattern bolstered itself as people—embarrassed to have deserted a neighborhood enterprise for the massive field store—began to spend much less time on major highway or at neighborhood capabilities the place they could run into neighborhood retailers. neighborhood bonds deteriorated, and previously effective cities became bed room groups of commuters. whereas cable tv and, now, online marketing provide smaller companies how to peddle their wares within the comparable media as their company opposite numbers, it could possibly really paintings opposed to their genuine power as genuine international, neighborhood businesses. the facility of an area business—or any neighborhood enterprise—is its connection to a specific area and other people. Its locality is its power. by means of turning to a decentralized medium to have interaction with humans correct round the nook, an area company loses its domestic box virtue. Its banner advertisements won't ever glance pretty much as good as these popping out of a advertising and marketing company besides. to make certain, you may use the web to prepare a neighborhood team, agenda a meet-up, or get mom and dad to a college board assembly. yet in every one of those situations, the non-local bias of the web is approved as a method to an finish: We go browsing to be able to converse with those who find themselves no longer with us at that second, and optimistically to rearrange a time and position to fulfill for actual. extra, for those who already comprehend one another good in actual existence to interact on-line is especially assorted than enticing with strangers we all know basically on-line. the web can strengthen actual international relationships while these relationships exist already. Interactive know-how has additionally allowed for conversations to ensue in a media panorama that previously promoted merely one-way broadcast. For these people residing in a global already disconnected through mass advertising and media, those little pings will be very genuine, and extremely compelling. A mediaspace that used to make us think totally by myself now connects us to a person, anyplace. For a few, this suggests discovering folks like themselves for the first actual time. Survivors of infrequent cancers can locate help teams, homosexual young children can locate those who have lived via being the single “out” scholar in a highschool, and enthusiasts of esoteric books or tune can locate worldwide groups keen to debate what nobody else of their lives even is aware exists. yet these back-and-forth exchanges are happening at a distance. they're higher than nothing—particularly for individuals in targeted situations—but they aren't a substitute for actual interplay. in truth, the convenience with which a simulated, electronic connection is made can usually make us extra far away. The homebound geriatric now has an ideal way to hook up with her church “virtually” each Sunday morning—and parishioners don’t need to fear approximately who's going to her domestic to move her and her wheelchair that week. It takes much less attempt, yet it’s additionally much less worthy for everyone involved. Giving and accepting kindness was a part of the package deal. equally, electronic applied sciences can carry information and photographs to us from far-off, right away and always.

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