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Cyberculture

2001
Author:

Pierre Levy
Translated by Robert Bononno

Cyberculture

A clear explanation and provocative look at the impact of new technologies on world society.

Needing guidance and seeking insight, the Council of Europe approached Pierre Lévy, one of the world’s most important and well-respected theorists of digital culture, for a report on the state (and, frankly, the nature) of cyberspace. The result is this extraordinary document, a perfectly lucid and accessible description of cyberspace-from infrastructure to practical applications-along with an inspired, far-reaching exploration of its ramifications. A window on the digital world for the technologically timid, the book also offers a brilliant vision of the philosophical and social realities and possibilities of cyberspace for the adept and novice alike.

Cyberculture is imbued with an almost religious adherence to humanist ideals, specifically the Enlightenment ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity.

Art Monthly

Needing guidance and seeking insight, the Council of Europe approached Pierre Lévy, one of the world’s most important and well-respected theorists of digital culture, for a report on the state (and, frankly, the nature) of cyberspace. The result is this extraordinary document, a perfectly lucid and accessible description of cyberspace—from infrastructure to practical applications-along with an inspired, far-reaching exploration of its ramifications. A window on the digital world for the technologically timid, the book also offers a brilliant vision of the philosophical and social realities and possibilities of cyberspace for the adept and novice alike.

In an overview, Lévy discusses the distinguishing features of cyberspace and cyberculture from anthropological, philosophical, cultural, and sociological points of view. An optimist about the future potential of cyberspace, he eloquently argues that technology—and specifically the infrastructure of cyberspace, the Internet—can have a transformative effect on global society. Some of the issues he takes up are new art forms; changes in relationships to knowledge, education, and training; the preservation of linguistic and cultural differences; the emergence and implications of collective intelligence; the problems of social exclusion; and the impact of new technology on the city and democracy in general.

In considerable detail, Lévy describes the ways in which cyberspace will help promote the growth of democracy, primarily through the participation of individuals or groups. His analysis is enlivened by his own personal impressions of cyberculture—garnered from bulletin boards, mailing lists, virtual reality demonstrations, and simulations. Immediate in its details, visionary in its scope, deeply informed yet free of unnecessary technical language, Cyberculture is the book we require in our digital age.


Cyberculture

Pierre Lévy is professor of cyberculture and social communication at the University of Quebec and consultant to the Forward Studies Unit of the European Union on issues of governance and electronic democracy. His many books include Becoming Virtual (1998) and Collective Intelligence (1999).

Robert Bononno, a teacher and translator, lives in New York City.

Cyberculture

Cyberculture is imbued with an almost religious adherence to humanist ideals, specifically the Enlightenment ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity.

Art Monthly

An optimist about the future potential of cyberspace, Pierre Levy argues that technology can have a transformative effect on global society.

Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society

Levy’s book is a well thought-out and lucidly articulated set of optimistic arguments about cybercultures. Levy is essentially an enthusiast for the emancipatory and positive potential of cyberculture.

Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies

Unlike most books on the world of cyber technology, this one addresses the most profound cultural implications with two refreshing differences: plain and precise language that avoids technological jargon and provides a refreshingly intelligible approach, and an overarching analysis that builds from the fundamentals of cyberculture (but without specifics about hardware or software) to full scale observations about human interaction and society.

Communication Research Trends