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Information Please: Culture and Politics in the Age of Digital Machines

Author: Mark Poster
Publisher: Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006
Review Published: September 2007

 REVIEW 1: Diana Bossio

I want to thank Diana Bossio for her review of Information Please. She writes well, puts the book in the context of my earlier work, provides important references to research that I was not aware of at the time I wrote the book, and points to the limits of my argument.

I have only one quibble with Bossio's review. She finds my work in general and this book in particular highly favorable in its view of the Internet, perhaps overly optimistic about its influences and effects. So much so that I am guilty of sometimes underestimating the negative side of the issue, such as the restrictions placed on the Internet by some governments, such as China.

I reply that many readers find my writing overly optimistic about digital culture but this is really a limitation of my stylistic abilities. It is not so much that I am optimistic but that I want to politicize the issue of the use and development of the Internet. I therefore tend to emphasize the possibilities of the Internet for liberatory political change, fully aware that there is a deep digital divide and that transnational corporations and national government want nothing more than to enhance their existing powers by domesticating networked computing to their needs.

The study of the Internet, like the Internet itself, is clearly a work under construction. I hope my work is helpful to that end and my future writing will certainly benefit from Bossio's observations.

Mark Poster


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