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Internet Dreams By Mark J. Stefik

Internet Dreams by Mark J. Stefik

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The Internet is now entering our social consciousness. In this text, the author considers some of the metaphors and myths associated with the Internet that are now emerging, focusing on four persistent metaphors - digital library, e-mail, electronic marketplace, and digital world.

Internet Dreams Summary

Internet Dreams: Archetypes, Myths and Metaphors by Mark J. Stefik

The stakes are high - metaphors can have an impact on the legal and policy aspects of the future of the Internet as well as its technical design and economic structure. "Internet Dreams" illuminates not only how "the Net" is being created, but also stories about ourselves as our lives become electronically interconnected. Ancient myths meet modern networks. Carl Jung and others maintain that our dreams speak to us in terms of archetypes and symbols. These symbols are often universal. They reveal much about our common humanity and how we see ourselves. These symbols also appear in our patterns of speech, reflecting in our choice of metaphor how we shape our understanding of things. The Internet, the emerging embodiment of the modern information infrastructure, is now entering our social consciousness. So what metaphors do we use in talking about it and thinking about it? The "information superhighway" metaphor, for a while ubiquitous in the popular press, gives only a limited sense of what the Internet is and what it could be. Mark Stefik explores some of the most provocative writings about the Internet to tease out the deeper metaphors and myths. He finds four persistent metaphors - digital library, electronic mail, electronic marketplace and digital world. These metaphors are based on ancient myths and archetypes that have influenced human thinking for thousands of years: keeper of knowledge (the digital library), communicator (electronic mail), the trader (electronic marketplace), and the adventurer (digital world).

Table of Contents

Part 1 The digital library metaphor - the I-way as publishing and community memory: excerpt from "As We May Think", Vannevar Bush; excerpt from "Libraries of the Future", J.C.R. Licklider; excerpt from "The Digital Library Project", volume 1 - "The World of Knowbots", Robert E. Kahn and Vinton G. Cerf; excerpt from "Communication as the Root of Scientific Progress", Joshua Lederberg; excerpt from "What is the Role of Libraries in the Information Economy?", John Browning; technological revolutions and the Gutenberg myth, Scott D.N. Cook; excerpt from "Libraries are More than Information - Situational Aspects of Electronic Libraries", Vicky Reich and Mark Weiser; excerpt from "The Electronic Capture and Dissemination of the Cultural Practice of Tibetan Thangka Painting", Ranjit Makkuni. Part 2 The electronic mail metaphor - the I-way as a communications medium: some consequences of electronic groups, Lee Sproull and Samer Faraj; netiquette 101, Jay Machado; excerpt from "The MPC Adventures - Experiences with the Generation of VLSI Design and Implementation Methodologies", Lynn Conway; excerpt from "Digital Communications and the Conduct of Science - the New Literacy", Joshua Lederberg. Part 3 The electronic marketplace metaphor - selling goods and services on the I-way: excerpt from "Electronic Commerce on the Internet", from the CommerceNet Home Page; excerpt from "Electronic Markets and Electronic Hierarchies", Thomas W. Malone et al; slaves of a new machine - exploring the for-free/for-pay conundrum, Laura Fillmore; letting loose the light - igniting commerce in electronic publication, Mark Stefik. Part 4 The digital worlds metaphor - the I-way as a gateway to experience: excerpt from "Mudding - Social Phenomena in Text-Based Virtual Realities", Pavel Curtis; a rape in Cyberspace - how an evil clown, a Haitian trikster spirit, two wizards and a cast of dozens turned a database into a society, Julian Dibbell; interaction without society? - what avatars can't do, Harry M. Collins; excerpt from "Toward Portable Ideas", Mark Stefik and John Seely Brown; the national collaboratory - a white paper, William A. Wulf; Internet dreams - first encounters of an on-line dream group, Barbara Viglizzo; epilogue - choices and dreams.

Additional information

Internet Dreams: Archetypes, Myths and Metaphors by Mark J. Stefik
Used - Very Good
MIT Press Ltd
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