As all of us are showered with bright promises about the new electronic frontier – one of unalloyed and revolutionary opportunities – this book offers a more sober, alternative perspective. It portrays a ‘wired’ world of economic growth without jobs or security; a realm of ‘connections’ without communication; a frontier without citizens – only consumers.
Cybertrends trains a critical eye on the hard-headed economic realities that are propelling the world further along a socially and ecologically hazardous path – one on which powerful new tools are being used to project an expansionary and unimproved dream.
In this controversial book David Brown contrasts the myths with the emerging realities of the information age. He shows how informational networking is eroding traditional centres of power – and presenting a convincing illusion of creative anarchy – while at the same time it is steadily and quietly giving rise to potentially dangerous new concentrations of commercial power which are built around hubs of silicon and code. He spotlights the personalities behind this so-called ‘revolution’, and identifies their key role in a techno-centric and global overlay culture that is increasingly unaccountable to the fragmented democratic constituencies they are leaving behind.
Written in a lively and accessible style, Cybertrends is a call to arms that shows how the information Revolution can be recaptured and made to serve a higher ideal.
David Brown is a US writer of mixed Native American Indian, Sicilian and Anglo-Saxon descent who now lives in Western Europe. He has travelled widely in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. A graduate of Columbia University in New York, he was briefly a speech writer and congressional aide on the Washington political scene before turning to full-time reporting in 1980. As a correspondent for the Financial Times and the International Herald Tribune, and as European contributing editor of Business magazine, his journalism has been widely syndicated. This is his first book.