This challenging collection of essays deals with the impact of evolving information technologies on human mental life and, indeed, on the nature and organization of human culture as a store of information-processing techniques. What topic could be more relevant to our swiftly changing contemporary world? For we are blessed, besotted, and threatened by such technologies and preoccupied by their uses. Some are seemingly benign, as when the Internet broadens the horizons of the young, or when computers take the Dickensian drudgery out of bookkeeping. Some are more worrying in their impact, as when one speculates whether information technology may promote imperialism by widening the gap between informationally adept military powers and word-of-mouth local insurgents. This volume is principally (though not exclusively) about the former, about changes in thinking, feeling, and relating to each other created by the current information revolution. But it goes beyond its influences on individual mental activity to consider how the new technologies might alter the cultures and the economies that come to rely on them.
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