Decoding the Internet in Global Popular Culture
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: NYU Press
Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication
Humorist Dave Barry’s burlesque Dave Barry in Cyberspace provided mid- 1990s Americans with a how-to manual for participating in what was rapidly becoming the new and necessary—if intimidatingly foreign—technological experience: getting online. In it, he described the internet as global public and private network run by Jason, a hormonal thirteen-year-old. After signing...
1. The “WarGames Scenario”: Regulating Teenagers and Teenaged Technology
Many Americans “experienced” computer networking for the first time in 1983 by watching a young Matthew Broderick nearly blow up the world. In the immensely popular, Academy Award–nominated film WarGames, the teenaged computer-hacker David Lightman (Broderick) accidentally dials into the Pentagon’s defense system while looking for a computer game company.1 Lightman plays what he thinks is a game called “Global Thermonuclear...
2. The Internet Grows Up and Goes to Work: User-Friendly Tools for Productive Adults
Beginning in 1983, IBM launched an extensive advertising campaign featuring Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp to market the PCjr, the company’s first major foray into the home computer market and ultimately the bestselling computer of the period.1 IBM’s massive magazine, newspaper, and television campaign featured the Tramp as a Depression-era worker and...
3. From Computers to Cyberspace: Virtual Reality, the Virtual Nation, and the CorpoNation
In 1996, economist, techie, and writer Carl Malamud teamed up with one of the inventors of the internet, Vint Cerf, to set up the Internet World’s Fair.1 Called the “most ambitious undertaking on the Internet to date” by Newsweek magazine, this fair had over 5 million visitors from 172 countries, garnered over $100 million in contributions from a variety of industry and...
4. Self-Colonizing eEurope: The Information Society Merges onto the Information Superhighway
The 2002 award winning German film ½ Miete, or ½ the Rent follows a computer hacker in his thirties named Peter as he “unplugs”—that is, he makes the conscious decision to live his life off-line.1 The film’s opening shot characterizes this hacker’s home life in ways similar to American films like WarGames and the Matrix. The main character’s apartment is disheveled...
5. Tweeting into the Future: Affecting Citizens and Networking Revolution
Egyptians took to the streets in 2011 in a revolution that would overthrow a regime that had controlled the country for three decades. In the midst of the unrest in Egypt, the New York Times website featured an image: a woman holding a scorecard that read “Facebook: 2, Dictators: 0” (presumably, mocking the deposed dictators in Tunisia and Egypt). The revolution became...
As Jeffrey Sconce snarkily notes, historical writing tends to end where it began, because “cyclical returns in history imply the existence of immutable forces, power brought to light and made predictable by the insight of the author’s historical analysis. ‘History repeats itself ’ goes the well-known aphorism.”1 While this book ends in some senses where it began, it does so to...
About the Author
Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2013
OCLC Number: 838793645
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Cached