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Maybe you want to be here instead?
I think that there is a good chance that those who (like John Perry Barlow) claim that the computer and communications revolutions will have as great an effect as Gutenberg are by and large correct, and that the future of human thought and knowledge at least will be very different from the past.
Here are some fragments of information that may (or may not) bear on this question.
My own reaction to the shock of the virtual: the discovery that there are dimensions along which--even today--virtual reality appears more real than reality itself.
Reflections on an analogous transformation: the printing revolution in early modern Europe.
The science fiction writer Neal Stephenson wrote a wonderful piece about the wiring of the world via undersea cable. I have kept a local version of it against the day when Wired Ventures goes bankrupt, and the plugs on its websites are pulled, as long as a copy of his essay "In the Beginning was the Command Line."
A passage from Walter John Williams's science fiction novel Aristoi, about life in a civilization in which virtual reality is completely integrated into everyday experience. Another passage from Williams' Aristoi, this one more a reflection on the benefits of civilization...
Is it really true that, as someone once said, "On the internet no one knows you're a dog"?
Questions on E-commerce: at a Berkeley E-conomy conference.
Comments on Electronic Commerce: at a Berkeley Law and Technology Center Conference.
Rules, New and Old, for the Network Economy: two good books on the network economy.
How "New" Is Today's Economy?: it's not as new as we often like to think.
Ka-ching!: the Amazon Associates Program: can the attention society work as the attention economy--if attention is bought and sold?
The Next Economy?: the best thing I've done on the topic, I think; written with Michael Froomkin.
The Unbearable Heaviness of Slate: why does Slate take so much longer to load than Salon? (The gap today is much smaller than it was in the past.)
Old Rules for the New Economy: expressing my annoyance at internet hype.
A short sketch of pre-Babbage computing.
|Professor of Economics J. Bradford DeLong, 601 Evans, #3880
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
(510) 643-4027 phone (510) 642-6615 fax