Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Communication and Cyberspace chapters 8-9

Chapter 8 offers a brief history of the internet, beginning with the ARPAnet, which was a network solely used for research by military and defense agencies. It also details the "culture clash" between the Department of Defense and the computer scientists in the academic community who helped build the ARPAnet in the first place. The computer scientists believed that this technology should be free and open to all individuals, whereas the defense officials were secretive and rigid and wanted it to themselves. Eventually, the ARPAnet declined because it did not support a free flow of information. Giese writes that, "the turning point in the growth of the Internet was the advent of USENET NEWS in 1979 - a 'poor man's ARPAnet.'" USENET eventually spawned discussion boards, and the Internet continued to grow and develop from there.
Chapter 9, written by Ron L. Jacobson, addresses "Questions Concerning Public Interest in and Access to the Information Superhighway." He writes, "What the Internet is really about is the transformation of information rather than its growth." In other words, the world still has the exact same amount of information contained in it as it did before the advent of New Media; New Media is just making it digital and more accessible. The information isn't changing, it's just going from books to online forms. Other questions that come up pertain to literacy and access, and what social consequences come about from this access to information.

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