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The Internet galaxy : reflections on the Internet, business, and society /
Manuel Castells.
imprint
Oxford, UK ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
description
xi, 292 p. : maps.
ISBN
0199241538
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford, UK ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
isbn
0199241538
catalogue key
4598401
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
First Chapter


Chapter One

Lessons from the

History of the Internet

The story of the creation and development of the Internet is one of an extraordinary human adventure. It highlights people's capacity to transcend institutional goals, overcome bureaucratic barriers, and subvert established values in the process of ushering in a new world. It also lends support to the view that cooperation and freedom of information may be more conducive to innovation than competition and proprietary rights. I shall not recount this saga, since there are several good chronicles available to the reader (Abbate, 1999; Naughton, 1999). Instead, I will focus on what seem to be the critical lessons we can distill from the processes that led to the formation of the Internet, from the building of the ARPANET in the 1960s to the explosion of the world wide web in the 1990s. Indeed, the historical production of a given technology shapes its content and uses in ways that last beyond its original inception, and the Internet is no exception to this rule. The history of the Internet helps us to understand the paths of its future history-making. However, before embarking on interpretation, to simplify the reader's task, I will summarize the main events that led to the constitution of the Internet in its current form; that is, as a global network of computer networks made user-friendly by the world wide web, an application running on top of the Internet.

The History of the Internet, 1962-1995: An Overview

The origins of the Internet are to be found in ARPANET, a computer network set up by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in September 1969. ARPA was formed in 1958 by the Defense Department of the United States with the task of mobilizing research resources, particularly from the university world, toward building technological military superiority over the Soviet Union in the wake of the launching of the first Sputnik in 1957. ARPANET was only a minor program emerging from one of ARPA's departments, the Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO), established in 1962 on the basis of a pre-existing unit. The aim of this department, as defined by its first director, Joseph Licklider, a psychologist turned computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was to stimulate research in interactive computing. As part of this effort, the building of ARPANET was justified as a way of sharing computing time on-line between various computer centers and research groups working for the agency.

    To build an interactive computer network, IPTO relied on a revolutionary telecommunications transmission technology, packet switching, developed independently by Paul Baran at Rand Corporation (a Californian think-tank often working for the Pentagon) and by Donald Davies at the British National Physical Laboratory. Baran's design of a decentralized, flexible communication network was a proposal from the Rand Corporation to the Defense Department to build a military communications system able to survive a nuclear attack, although this was never the goal behind the development of ARPANET. IPTO used this packet-switching technology in the design of ARPANET. The first nodes of the network in 1969 were at the University of California, Los Angeles, SRI (Stanford Research Institute), the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. In 1971, there were fifteen nodes, most of them university research centers. The design of ARPANET was implemented by Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN), a Boston engineering acoustics firm converted into applied computer science, which was founded by MIT professors, and usually staffed by MIT and Harvard scientists and engineers. In 1972, the first successful demonstration of ARPANET took place at an international conference in Washington, DC.

    The next step was to make ARPANET's connection with other computer networks possible, starting with the communication networks that ARPA was managing, PRNET and SATNET. This introduced a new concept: a network of networks. In 1973, two computer scientists, Robert Kahn, from ARPA, and Vint Cerf, then at Stanford University, wrote a paper outlining the basic Internet architecture. They built on the efforts of the Network Working Group, a cooperative technical group formed in the 1960s by representatives from the various computer centers linked by ARPANET, including Cerf himself, Steve Crocker, and Jori Postel, among others. For computer networks to talk to each other they needed standardized communication protocols. This was partly accomplished in 1973, at a Stanford seminar, by a group led by Cerf, Gerard Lelann (from the French Cyclades research group), and Robert Metcalfe (then at Xerox PARC), with the design of the transmission control protocol (TCP). In 1978 Cerf, Postel, and Crocker, working at the University of Southern California, split TCP into two parts, adding an inter-network protocol (IP), yielding the TCP/IP protocol, the standard on which the Internet still operates today. However, ARPANET continued for some time to operate on a different protocol, NCP.

    In 1975, ARPANET was transferred to the Defense Communication Agency (DCA). In order to make computer communication available to different branches of the armed forces, the DCA decided to create a connection between various networks under its control. It established a Defense Data Network, operating on TCP/IP protocols. In 1983 the Defense Department, concerned about possible security breaches, decided to create a separate MILNET network for specific military uses. ARPANET became ARPA-INTERNET, and was dedicated to research. In 1984, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) set up its own computer communications network, NSFNET, and in 1988 it started using ARPA-INTERNET as its backbone.

    In February 1990 ARPANET, technologically obsolete, was decommissioned. Thereafter, having released the Internet from its military environment, the US government charged the National Science Foundation with its management. But NSF's control of the Net was short-lived. With computer networking technology in the public domain, and telecommunications in full deregulation, NSF quickly proceeded with the privatization of the Internet. The Defense Department had decided earlier to commercialize Internet technology, financing US computer manufacturers to include TCP/IP in their protocols in the 1980s. By 1990 most computers in America had networking capabilities, laying the ground for the diffusion of inter-networking. In 1995 NSFNET was shut down, opening the way for the private operation of the Internet.

    In the early 1990s a number of Internet service providers built their own networks and set up their own gateways on a commercial basis. Thereafter, the Internet grew rapidly as a global network of computer networks. This was made possible by the original design of ARPANET, based on a multi-layered, decentralized architecture, and open communication protocols. Under these conditions the Net was able to expand by the addition of new nodes and endless reconfiguration of the network to accommodate communication needs.

    Nonetheless, ARPANET was not the only source of the Internet as we know it today. The current shape of the Internet is also the outcome of a grassroots tradition of computer networking. One component of this tradition was the bulletin board systems (BBS) movement that sprung from the networking of PCs in the late 1970s. In 1977, two Chicago students, Ward Christensen and Randy Suess, wrote a program, which they called MODEM, enabling the transfer of files between their PCs, and in 1978 another program, the Computer Bulletin Board System, which made it possible for PCs to store and transmit messages. They released both programs into the public domain. In 1983, Tom Jennings, a programmer, then working in California, created his own BBS program, FIDO, and started a network of BBSs, FIDONET. FIDONET is still the cheapest, most accessible computer communication network in the world, relying on PCs and calls over standard telephone lines. In 2000, it comprised over 40,000 nodes and about 3 million users. Although this represented only a tiny fraction of total Internet use, the practice of BBSs and the culture exemplified by FIDONET were influential factors in the configuration of the global Internet.

    In 1981, Ira Fuchs, at the City University of New York, and Greydon Freeman, of Yale University, started an experimental network on the basis of IBM RJE protocol, thus building a network for IBM users, mainly university based, which came to be known as BITNET ("Because it's there," referring to the IBM slogan; it also stood for "Because it's time"). When IBM stopped funding in 1986, users' fees supported the network. It still lists 30,000 active nodes.

    A decisive trend in computer networking emerged from the community of UNIX users. UNIX is an operating system developed at Bell Laboratories, and released by Bell to the universities in 1974, including its source code and permission to alter the source. UNIX became the lingua franca of most computer science departments, and students soon became adept at its manipulation. Then, in 1978 Bell distributed its UUCP program (UNIX-to-UNIX copy) allowing computers to copy files from each other. On the basis of UUCP, in 1979, four students in North Carolina (Truscott, Ellis, Bellavin, and Rockwell) designed a program for communication between UNIX computers. An improved version of this program was distributed freely at a UNIX users' conference in 1980. This allowed the formation of computer communication networks, Usenet News, outside the ARPANET backbone, thus considerably broadening the practice of computer communication.

    In the summer of 1980 Usenet News reached the computer science department of the University of California, Berkeley, where there was a brilliant group of graduate students (including Mark Horton and Bill Joy) working on adaptations and applications of UNIX. As Berkeley was an ARPANET node, this group of students developed a program to bridge the two networks. From then on, Usenet became linked to ARPANET, the two traditions gradually merged, and various computer networks became able to communicate with each other, often sharing the same backbone (courtesy of a university). These networks eventually came together as the Internet.

    Another major development resulting from the UNIX users' tradition was the "open source movement"--a deliberate attempt to keep access to all information about software systems open. I shall analyze in more detail, in Chapter 2, the open source movement, and the hackers' culture, as essential trends in the social and technical shaping of the Internet. But I need to refer briefly to it in this summary account of the sequence of events that led to the formation of the Internet. In 1984, a programmer at MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Richard Stallman, reacting against the decision by ATT to claim proprietary rights to UNIX, launched the Free Software Foundation, proposing to substitute "copyleft" for copyright. By "copyleft" it is understood that anyone using software that had been made freely available should, in return, distribute over the Net the improved code. Stallman created an operating system, GNU, as an alternative to UNIX, and he posted it on the Net under a license that allowed its use on the condition of respecting the copyleft clause.

    Putting this principle into practice, in 1991, Linus Torvalds, a 22-year-old student at the University of Helsinki, developed a new UNIX-based operating system, called Linux, and distributed it freely on the Internet, asking users to improve it and to post their improvements back on the Net. The result of this initiative was the development of a robust Linux operating system, constantly upgraded by the work of thousands of hackers and millions of users, to the point that Linux is now widely considered one of the most advanced operating systems in the world, particularly for Internet-based computing. Other groups of cooperative software development based on open source sprung from the UNIX users' culture. Thus, in the year 2001, over 60 percent of world wide web servers in the world were running on Apache, which is an open source server program developed by a cooperative network of UNIX programmers.

    What made it possible for the Internet to embrace the world at large was the development of the world wide web. This is an information-sharing application developed in 1990 by an English programmer, Tim Berners-Lee, working at CERN, the Geneva-based, European high-energy physics research center. Although he was not personally aware of it (Berners-Lee, 1999: 5), Berners-Lee's work continued a long tradition of ideas and technical projects that, for the previous half-century, had imagined the possibility of linking up information sources via interactive computing. Vannevar Bush proposed his Memex system in 1945. Douglas Engelbart designed his On-Line System, including graphics interface and the mouse, working from his Augmentation Research Center in the San Francisco Bay area, and he first demonstrated it in 1968. Ted Nelson, a radical, independent thinker, envisioned a hypertext of interlinked information in his 1965 Computer Lib manifesto, and worked for many years on the creation of a utopian system, Xanadu: an open, self-evolving hypertext aimed at linking all the planet's information, past, present, and future. Bill Atkinson, the author of the graphics interface of the Macintosh, developed a HyperCard system of interlinking information while working at Apple Computers in the 1980s.

    But it was Berners-Lee who brought all these dreams into reality, building on the Enquire program he had written in 1980. Of course, his decisive advantage was that the Internet already existed, and he could find support on the Internet and rely on decentralized computer power via workstations: utopias could now materialize. He defined and implemented the software that made it possible to retrieve and contribute information from and to any computer connected via the Internet: HTTP, HTML, and URI (later called URL). In cooperation with Robert Cailliau, Berners-Lee built a browser/editor program in December 1990, and named this hypertext system the world wide web (www). The www browser software was released by CERN over the Net in August 1991. A number of hackers from around the world set themselves up to develop their own browsers, on the basis of Berners-Lee's work. The first modified version was Erwise, developed at the Helsinki Institute of Technology in April 1992. Soon after, Viola, at the University of California, Berkeley, produced his own adaptation.

    The most product-oriented of these modified versions of www was Mosaic, designed by a student, Marc Andreessen, and a staff member, Eric Bina, at the University of Illinois's National Center for Supercomputer Applications. They incorporated into Mosaic an advanced graphics capability, so that images could be retrieved and distributed over the Internet, as well as a number of interface techniques imported from the multimedia world. They publicized their software on the Usenet in January 1993. Thereafter, Andreessen took a programming job in a small firm at Palo Alto. While there, he was contacted by a leading Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Jim Clark, who was leaving the company he had founded, Silicon Graphics, looking for new business adventures. He recruited Andreessen, Bina, and their co-workers to form a new company, Mosaic Communications, which was later compelled to change its name to Netscape Communications. The company posted on the Net the first commercial browser, Netscape Navigator, in October 1994, and shipped the first product on December 15, 1994. In 1995, they released Navigator software over the Net free for educational uses, and at a cost of 39 dollars for business.

    After the success of Navigator, Microsoft finally discovered the Internet, and in 1995, together with its Windows 95 software, introduced its own browser, Internet Explorer, based on technology developed by a small company, Spyglass. Other commercial browsers were developed, such as Navipress, used by America On Line for a while. Furthermore, in 1995, Sun Microsystems designed Java, a programming language that allowed applications programs ("applets") to travel between computers over the Internet, so enabling computers to run programs downloaded from the Internet safely. Sun released Java software free on the Internet, expanding the realm of web applications, and Netscape included Java in its Navigator browser. In 1998, to counter Microsoft's competition, Netscape released over the Net the source code for Navigator.

    Thus, by the mid-1990s, the Internet was privatized, its technical, open architecture allowed the networking of all computer networks anywhere in the world, the world wide web could function on adequate software, and several user-friendly browsers were available to the public. While the Internet had begun in the minds of computer scientists in the early 1960s, a computer communication network had been established in 1969, and distributed computing, interactive communities of scientists and hackers had sprung up from the late 1970s, for most people, for business, and for society at large, the Internet was born in 1995. But it was born with the marks of a history whose analytically relevant features I shall now emphasize and interpret.

The Unlikely Formula: Big Science, Military Research, and the Culture of Freedom

First of all, the Internet was born at the unlikely intersection of big science, military research, and libertarian culture. Major research universities and defense-related think-tanks were essential meeting points between these three sources of the Internet. ARPANET originated in the US Defense Department, but its military applications were secondary to the project. IPTO's main concern was to fund computer science in the United States, letting scientists do their work, and hoping something interesting would come out of it. Baran's design was indeed a military-oriented proposal. It played an important role in the building of ARPANET because of its packet-switching technology, and because it inspired a communications architecture based on the three principles on which the Internet still operates today: a decentralized network structure; distributed computing power throughout the nodes of the network; and redundancy of functions in the network to minimize the risk of disconnection. These features embodied the key answer to military needs for survivability of the system: flexibility, absence of a command center, and maximum autonomy of each node.

    While all this sounds very much like military strategy, the catch here is that Baran's proposal was rejected by the Pentagon, and no one ever tried to implement it. In fact, some sources suggest that ARPA did not know of Baran's 1964 publications on "distributed networks" until Roger Scantlebury, a British researcher who had been working on similar technologies, brought them to the attention of IPTO's director at a symposium in Tennessee in October 1967 (Naughton, 1999: 129-31). Baran's concepts were critical for the building of ARPANET, but this experimental network was built with a non-military purpose by the scientists working at and around ARPA (Abbate, 1999).

    What their purpose was is in fact unclear, besides the general aim of developing computer networking. The explicit goal was to optimize the use of expensive computer resources by on-line time-sharing between computer centers. Yet, the cost of computing quickly came down, and time-sharing was no longer a major need. The most popular use of the network was electronic mail, an application first developed by Ray Tomlinson, a programmer at BBN, in July 1970. It is still the most widely used application on today's Internet. What the evidence suggests is that IPTO was used by computer scientists at the cutting edge of a new field (computer networking) to fund computer science throughout the university research system, so that, in the 1960s and 1970s, most funding for computer science research in the United States came from ARPA (it was still the case in 2000).

    A network of talented scientists and engineers (among them Joseph Licklider, Ivan Sutherland, Lawrence Roberts, Leonard Kleinrock, Robert Taylor, Alex McKenzie, Frank Heart, and Robert Kahn) was formed over time, then expanded with the help of a generation of outstanding young researchers, particularly Vinton Cerf, Stephen Crocker, and Jon Postel, students of Kleinrock at UCLA. The original nucleus of ARPANET designers came mainly from MIT, including one of MIT's spin-off companies, BBN (initially working on acoustics!), and from the Lincoln National Laboratory, a major military-oriented research facility in the shadow of MIT. Key members of the network (among others Roberts, Kleinrock, Heart, and Kahn) were graduates of MIT. But academics from other research universities also became part of this informal, yet exclusive club of computer scientists, particularly from UCLA, where Kleinrock, one of the leading theoreticians in the field, was teaching, as well as from Stanford, Harvard, the University of Utah, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of California at Berkeley.

    These researchers/designers circulated in and out of ARPA, research universities, and quasi-academic think-tanks, such as RAND, SRI, and BBN. They were protected by the visionary directors of IPTO, among whom were Joseph Licklider and Robert Taylor. IPTO enjoyed considerable freedom in managing and funding this network because the Defense Department had entrusted ARPA with autonomous judgment about how to stimulate technological research in key areas without suffocating creativity and independence, a strategy that eventually paid off in terms of superiority in military technology. But ARPANET was not one of these military technologies. It was an arcane, experimental project whose actual content was never fully understood by the overseeing congressional committees. Once ARPANET was set up, and new, younger recruits came to IPTO in the 1970s, there was a more focused, deliberate effort to create what would be the Internet. Kahn and Cerf clearly intended so, and designed an architecture, and the corresponding protocols, to allow the network to evolve as an open system of computer communication, able to reach out to the whole world.

    So, ARPANET, the main source of what ultimately became the Internet, was not an unintended consequence of a research program going sideways. It was envisioned, deliberately designed, and subsequently managed by a determined group of computer scientists with a shared mission that had little to do with military strategy. It was rooted in a scientific dream to change the world through computer communication, although some of the participants in the group were content with just fostering good computer science. In accordance with the university research tradition, ARPANET's creators involved graduate students in the core design functions of the network, in an atmosphere of totally relaxed security. This included the use of ARPANET for students' personal chats and, reportedly, discussions about marijuana procurement opportunities. The most popular electronic mailing list in ARPANET was SF-Lovers for the use of science fiction fans. Furthermore, the transition to the civilian Internet, and then to its privatization, was managed by the National Science Foundation, with the cooperation of the academic community of computer scientists that had developed over the years around IPTO. Many of these scientists ended up working for major corporations in the 1990s.

(Continues...)

Excerpted from THE INTERNET GALAXY by Manuel Castells. Copyright © 2001 by Manuel Castells. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2001-11-15:
Based on the author's Clarendon Lectures in Management at Oxford University, this work focuses on the Internet and the future of networked societies. More specifically, Castells (sociology, Univ. of California, Berkeley; The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture) examines cultures spawned by the Internet as well as the Internet's effects on culture. He provides balanced coverage of e-business and the new economy; the politics of the Internet, including privacy and freedom; and the geography of the Internet. Thereafter, he considers how those topics have influenced the globalization of the Internet and the growing digital divide. This thoroughly researched volume features numerous international examples and statistics that effectively illustrate key points and make the book truly global in scope. With his knack for analyzing contemporary society, Castells has produced a timely book indeed. Including constructive lists of "reading links" and "e-links" at the end of each chapter, the text would serve as a good companion for courses in the social and computer sciences. Highly recommended for academic libraries. Colleen Cuddy, New York Univ. Sch. of Medicine Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2001-11-12:
Castells, best known for his three-volume study The Information Age (Blackwell), an analysis of societal changes wrought by communications advances, trims that work to appeal to readers who were daunted by its 1,200 pages, $80 paperback price and ponderous prose. In this excellent, readable, nontechnical summary of the history, social implications and likely future of Internet business, Castells, professor of planning and of sociology at Berkeley, covers institutions like the World Wide Web Consortium, which "presides over the protocols and development" of the Web, and phenomena like the Internet's immense ability to simultaneously liberate and exclude. There are still too many sentences like "It is fair to say that most hackers live normal lives, at least as normal as most people, which does not necessarily mean that hackers (or anybody else) fit into the ideal type of normalcy, conforming to the dominant ideology in our societies," leaving readers wondering if hackers' lives are normal or not, and whether he's trying to give a sociological side lesson. Those willing to overlook such prosodic lapses will appreciate the astute accounts of, e.g., the complications for early grassroots online citizen networks headed by community activists, but seen by many as an opportunity to move beyond their local community. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Choice on 2002-06-01:
Castells (planning; sociology; Univ. of California, Berkeley), widely regarded as a leading analyst of the information age and the network society, has produced an accessible and informative book. He draws on an extraordinary range of detailed evidence and research to describe what is happening, and to explain how the Internet has become the medium of the new network society. The book is organized into topics that cover the creation of the Internet the most important areas of its use: the culture of the Internet, e-business and the new economy, virtual communities, the politics of the Internet, multimedia, geography, and the digital divide in a global perspective; a concluding section describes the challenges of the network society. He takes the reader on an interesting, nontechnical journey to offer a better understanding of this new and significant dimension of our world. General readers. C. Tappert Pace University
Reviews
Review Quotes
Adam Smith explained how capitalism worked, and Karl Marx explained why it didn't. Now the social and economic relations of the Information Age have been captured by Manuel Castells.
'A magnus opus if ever there was one, these three books togetherconstitute, in my view, the finest piece of contemporary social analysis for atleast a generation.'Frank Webster, British Journal of Sociology 49, 1998
'A magnus opus if ever there was one, these three books together constitute, in my view, the finest piece of contemporary social analysis for at least a generation.'Frank Webster, British Journal of Sociology 49, 1998
'Among technology's intelligentsia Castells has quickly earned areputation as a pioneer, someone who has hacked out a logical, well-documented,and coherent picture of early 21st century civilization, even as it rocketsforward largely in a blur.'Paul Van Slambrouck, The Christian Science Monitor, 27th November 1998
'Among technology's intelligentsia Castells has quickly earned a reputation as a pioneer, someone who has hacked out a logical, well-documented, and coherent picture of early 21st century civilization, even as it rockets forward largely in a blur.'Paul Van Slambrouck, The Christian Science Monitor, 27th November 1998
[An] excellent, readable, nontechnical summary of the history, social implications and likely future of Internet business.
"An excellent, readable, nontechnical summary of the history, social implications and likely future of Internet business."--Publishers Weekly "Absorbing history.... Castells observes that while the Internet has the potential to strengthen democracy through broadening the sources of information and enabling greater citizenship participation, it has at the same time contributed greatly to the politics of scandal.... In his sobering final chapter, the author studies the divide between peoples and regions that operate in the digital world and those that cannot."--Kirkus Reviews Reviews of other books by Castells: "The most compelling attempt yet made to map the contours of the global information age."--Anthony Giddens, New Statesman "So far, the person who has straddled the world of social theory and Silicon Valley most successfully is Manuel Castells. Mr Castells enjoys a growing reputation as the first significant philosopher of cyberspace."--The Economist "Manuel Castells is today the most insightful theoretician of the information society."--Frederico Rampini, La Revista dei Libri "A magnus opus if ever there was one, these three books together constitute, in my view, the finest piece of contemporary social analysis for at least a generation."--Frank Webster, British Journal of Sociology
"An excellent, readable, nontechnical summary of the history, social implications and likely future of Internet business."-- Publishers Weekly "Absorbing history.... Castells observes that while the Internet has the potential to strengthen democracy through broadening the sources of information and enabling greater citizenship participation, it has at the same time contributed greatly to the politics of scandal.... In his sobering final chapter, the author studies the divide between peoples and regions that operate in the digital world and those that cannot."-- Kirkus Reviews Reviews of other books by Castells : "The most compelling attempt yet made to map the contours of the global information age."--Anthony Giddens, New Statesman "So far, the person who has straddled the world of social theory and Silicon Valley most successfully is Manuel Castells. Mr Castells enjoys a growing reputation as the first significant philosopher of cyberspace."-- The Economist "Manuel Castells is today the most insightful theoretician of the information society."--Frederico Rampini, La Revista dei Libri "A magnus opus if ever there was one, these three books together constitute, in my view, the finest piece of contemporary social analysis for at least a generation."--Frank Webster, British Journal of Sociology
"An excellent, readable, nontechnical summary of the history, social implications and likely future of Internet business."--Publishers Weekly "Absorbing history.... Castells observes that while the Internet has the potential to strengthen democracy through broadening the sources of information and enabling greater citizenship participation, it has at the same time contributed greatly to the politics of scandal.... In his sobering final chapter, the author studies the divide between peoples and regions that operate in the digital world and those that cannot."--Kirkus Reviews Reviews of other books by Castells: "The most compelling attempt yet made to map the contours of the global information age."--Anthony Giddens,New Statesman "So far, the person who has straddled the world of social theory and Silicon Valley most successfully is Manuel Castells. Mr Castells enjoys a growing reputation as the first significant philosopher of cyberspace."--The Economist "Manuel Castells is today the most insightful theoretician of the information society."--Frederico Rampini,La Revista dei Libri "A magnus opus if ever there was one, these three books together constitute, in my view, the finest piece of contemporary social analysis for at least a generation."--Frank Webster,British Journal of Sociology
'A readable, articulate and persuasive account of why the internet's mostpowerful impacts on the shape of business, politics and society may be yet tocome. Castells is the nearest thing the internet has to a founding philosopher.'Charles Leadbetter - Financial Times
'A readable, articulate and persuasive account of why the internet's most powerful impacts on the shape of business, politics and society may be yet to come. Castells is the nearest thing the internet has to a founding philosopher.'Charles Leadbetter - Financial Times
Attempting an academic survey of the internet is an heroic task ... Manuel Castells is better placed than most to attempt such an undertaking, and pulls it off with verve and clarity.
Authoritative guide to the origins of the internet, how it is affecting every area of human life, and its business applications.
'A very readable and stimulating book.'Professor Laurie Taylor, BBC Radio 4 'Thinking Allowed'
'... a wealth of new material on the new economy, e-commerce, digitalpolitics, virtual communities and the digital divide ... sheds some much-neededempirical light on the geography of Web-based communications ... The InternetGalaxy is a tour d'horizon of some recent developments in the Internet andrelated technologies ... The author is a noted social theorist and one of theworld's best-known computer intellectuals ... The Internet Galaxy offers ahighly distinctive antidote to the teleology and hype which has surroundeddiscussion of the Internet and other ICTs.'Prometheus
'... a wealth of new material on the new economy, e-commerce, digital politics, virtual communities and the digital divide ... sheds some much-needed empirical light on the geography of Web-based communications ... The Internet Galaxy is a tour d'horizon of some recent developments in theInternet and related technologies ... The author is a noted social theorist and one of the world's best-known computer intellectuals ... The Internet Galaxy offers a highly distinctive antidote to the teleology and hype which has surrounded discussion of the Internet and other ICTs.'Prometheus
Castells is probably the world's most highly regarded commentator on the information age and new economic order.
Manuel Castells has proved once again that he has an unmatched synoptic capacity to make sense of the complexities of a networked world, and here writes with clarity and insight about everything from the history of the technology to the subcultures that have done so much to shape it.
'Manuel Castells is today the most insightful theoretician of theinformation society, perhaps the Marx or the Marcuse of the New Economy.'Federico Rampini, La Revista dei Libri, May 2000
'Manuel Castells is today the most insightful theoretician of the information society, perhaps the Marx or the Marcuse of the New Economy.'Federico Rampini, La Revista dei Libri, May 2000
'One of Castells' great strengths is his ability to combine academicrigour with an appetite to engage with current social and economic trends. Hebrings to this task an impressive array of knowledge about cities, labourmarkets, business history and technology. As a result his writing combines asense of excitement and energy, with the sage judgement needed to resist glibsimplifications and address the complex factors driving the internet.'Charles Leadbetter - Financial Times
'One of Castells' great strengths is his ability to combine academic rigour with an appetite to engage with current social and economic trends. He brings to this task an impressive array of knowledge about cities, labour markets, business history and technology. As a result his writingcombines a sense of excitement and energy, with the sage judgement needed to resist glib simplifications and address the complex factors driving the internet.'Charles Leadbetter - Financial Times
'Review from other book by this author So far, the person who hasstraddled the world of social theory and Silicon Valley most successfully isManuel Castells. Mr Castells enjoys a growing reputation as the firstsignificant philosopher of cyberspace.'The Economist, 30th October 1999
The Internet Galaxy is the best attempt by a big thinker to grapple with the net's long-term implications for our society.
The Internet is shaping society and in turn being shaped by society. It takes a scholar of Manuel Castells's range to do justice to this phenomenon. His book is learned without being pompous, and insightful without being impenetrable. If we ever get a discipline of Internet studies, this will be one of its founding texts.
'The most compelling attempt yet made to map the contours of the globalinformation age.'Anthony Giddens, New Statesman, 23rd January 1998
'The most compelling attempt yet made to map the contours of the global information age.'Anthony Giddens, New Statesman, 23rd January 1998
This small but complete volume is a critical introduction to internet-related theories, while doubling as a simplified reader on his own ideas. The book should help to spread his influence beyond the faithful.
Thoroughly researched and truly global in scope. Castells provides balanced covergae of e-business and the new economy: the politics of the Internet, including privacy and freedom: and the geography of the Internet. Highly recommended for academic libraries.
'... a wealth of new material on the new economy, e-commerce, digital politics, virtual communities and the digital divide ... sheds some much-needed empirical light on the geography of Web-based communications ... The Internet Galaxy is a tour d'horizon of some recent developments in the Internet and related technologies ... The author is a noted social theorist and one of the world's best-known computer intellectuals ... The Internet Galaxy offers ahighly distinctive antidote to the teleology and hype which has surrounded discussion of the Internet and other ICTs.'Prometheus'A readable, articulate and persuasive account of why the internet's most powerful impacts on the shape of business, politics and society may be yet to come. Castells is the nearest thing the internet has to a founding philosopher.'Charles Leadbetter - Financial Times'One of Castells' great strengths is his ability to combine academic rigour with an appetite to engage with current social and economic trends. He brings to this task an impressive array of knowledge about cities, labour markets, business history and technology. As a result his writing combines a sense of excitement and energy, with the sage judgement needed to resist glib simplifications and address the complex factors driving the internet.'Charles Leadbetter - Financial Times'One of Castells' great strengths is his ability to combine academic rigour with an appetite to engage with current social and economic trends... His writing combines a sense of excitement and energy, with the sage judgement needed to resist glib simplifications and address the complex factors driving the internet.'Charles Leadbetter - Financial Times'A very readable and stimulating book.'Professor Laurie Taylor, BBC Radio 4 'Thinking Allowed''Manuel Castells is today the most insightful theoretician of the information society, perhaps the Marx or the Marcuse of the New Economy.'Federico Rampini, La Revista dei Libri, May 2000'A magnus opus if ever there was one, these three books together constitute, in my view, the finest piece of contemporary social analysis for at least a generation.'Frank Webster, British Journal of Sociology 49, 1998'Among technology's intelligentsia Castells has quickly earned a reputation as a pioneer, someone who has hacked out a logical, well-documented, and coherent picture of early 21st century civilization, even as it rockets forward largely in a blur.'Paul Van Slambrouck, The Christian Science Monitor, 27th November 1998'The most compelling attempt yet made to map the contours of the global information age.'Anthony Giddens, New Statesman, 23rd January 1998
Introduction 1. Lessons from the History of the Internet 2. The Internet Culture 3. E-business and the New Economy 4. Virtual Communities or Network Society? 5. The Politics of the Internet (I): Computer Networks, Civil Society, and the State 6. The Politics of the Internet (II): Privacy and Liberty in Cyberspace 7. Multimedia and the Internet: The Hypertext beyond Convergence 8. The Geography of the Internet: Networked Places 9. The Digital Divide in Global Perspective 10. Conclusion: The Challenges of the Network Society
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, September 2001
Library Journal, November 2001
Publishers Weekly, November 2001
Globe & Mail, February 2002
Choice, June 2002
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Castells helps us understand how the Internet came into being and how it is affecting every area of human life. This guide reveals the Internet's huge capacity to liberate, but also its possibility to exclude those who do not have access to it.
Long Description
Manuel Castells is one of the world's leading thinkers on the new information age, hailed by The Economist as "the first significant philosopher of cyberspace," and by Christian Science Monitor as "a pioneer who has hacked out a logical, well-documented, and coherent picture of early 21st century civilization, even as it rockets forward largely in a blur." Now, in The Internet Galaxy, this brilliantly insightful writer speculates on how the Internet will change our lives. Castells believes that we are "entering, full speed, the Internet Galaxy, in the midst of informed bewilderment." His aim in this exciting and profound work is to help us to understand how the Internet came into being, and how it is affecting every area of human life--from work, politics, planning and development, media, and privacy, to our social interaction and life in the home. We are at ground zero of the new network society. In this book, its major commentator reveals the Internet's huge capacity to liberate, but also its ability to marginalize and exclude those who do not have access to it. Castells provides no glib solutions, but asks us all to take responsibility for the future of this new information age. The Internet is becoming the essential communication and information medium in our society, and stands alongside electricity and the printing press as one of the greatest innovations of all time. The Internet Galaxy offers an illuminating look at how this new technology will influence business, the economy, and our daily lives.
Long Description
The Web has been with us for less than a decade. The popular and commercial diffusion of the Internet has been extraordinary-instigating and enabling changes in virtually every area of human activity and society. We have new systems of communication, new businesses, new media and sources of information, new forms of political and cultural expression, new forms of teaching and learning, and new communities. But how much do we know about the Internet-its history, its technology, its culture, and its uses? What are its implications for the business world and society at large? The diffusion has been so rapid that it has outpaced the capacity for well-grounded analysis. Some say everything will change, others that little will change. Manuel Castells is widely regarded as the leading analyst of the Information Age and the Network Society. In addition to his academic work, he acts as adviser at the highest inter-national levels. In this short, accessible, and informative book he brings his experience and knowledge to bear on the Internet Galaxy. How did it all begin? What are the cultures that make up and contest the Internet? How is it shaping the new business organization and re-shaping older business organizations? What are the realities of the digital divide? How has the Internet affected social and cultural organization, political participation and communication, and urban living? These are just some of the questions addressed in this much needed book. Castells avoids any predictions or prescriptions-there have been enough of those-but instead draws on an extraordinary range of detailed evidence and research to describe what is happening, and to help us understand how the Internet has become the medium of the new network society.
Main Description
Manuel Castells is one of the world's leading thinkers on the new information age, hailed byThe Economistas "the first significant philosopher of cyberspace," and byChristian Science Monitoras "a pioneer who has hacked out a logical, well-documented, and coherent picture of early 21st century civilization, even as it rockets forward largely in a blur." Now, inThe Internet Galaxy, this brilliantly insightful writer speculates on how the Internet will change our lives. Castells believes that we are "entering, full speed, the Internet Galaxy, in the midst of informed bewilderment." His aim in this exciting and profound work is to help us to understand how the Internet came into being, and how it is affecting every area of human life--from work, politics, planning and development, media, and privacy, to our social interaction and life in the home. We are at ground zero of the new network society. In this book, its major commentator reveals the Internet's huge capacity to liberate, but also its ability to marginalize and exclude those who do not have access to it. Castells provides no glib solutions, but asks us all to take responsibility for the future of this new information age. The Internet is becoming the essential communication and information medium in our society, and stands alongside electricity and the printing press as one of the greatest innovations of all time.The Internet Galaxyoffers an illuminating look at how this new technology will influence business, the economy, and our daily lives.
Main Description
The Internet Galaxy offers a stunning insight into the impact of the Internet and communication technologies on society in the beginning of the twenty-first century. Manuel Castells - one of the world's leading social scientists - presents an analytical overview of the main issues surrounding the diffusion of the Internet and how it has affected business, work, social interaction, politics, urban life, and the media. Castells also addresses the challenge of the digital divide on a global scale, and places the development of the
Main Description
The Internet is becoming the essential communication and informationmedium in our society, and stands alongside electricity and the printing pressas one of the greatest innovations of all time. Manuel Castells, widely heldto be our leading thinker on the new information age, believes that we are'entering, full speed, the Internet Galaxy in the midst of informedbewilderment.' His aim in this exciting and profound work is to help us tounderstand how the Internet came into being, and how it is affecting every areaof human life -- from work, politics, planning and development, media, andprivacy, to our social interaction and life in the home. We are at ground zeroof the new network society. In this book its major commentator reveals theinternet's huge capacity to liberate, but also its possibility to marginalizeand exclude those who do not have access to it. Castells provides no glibsolutions, but asks us all to take responsibility for the future of this newinformation age.
Main Description
The Web has been with us for less than a decade. The popular and commercial diffusion of the Internet has been extraordinary-instigating and enabling changes in virtually every area of human activity and society. We have new systems of communication, new businesses, new media and sources ofinformation, new forms of political and cultural expression, new forms of teaching and learning, and new communities. But how much do we know about the Internet-its history, its technology, its culture, and its uses? What are its implications for the business world and society at large? The diffusion has been so rapid that it has outpaced the capacity for well-grounded analysis. Some say everything will change,others that little will change. Manuel Castells is widely regarded as the leading analyst of the Information Age and the Network Society. In addition to his academic work, he acts as adviser at the highest inter-national levels. In this short, accessible, and informative book he brings his experience and knowledge to bear onthe Internet Galaxy. How did it all begin? What are the cultures that make up and contest the Internet? How is it shaping the new business organization and re-shaping older business organizations? What are the realities of the digital divide? How has the Internet affected social and cultural organization, politicalparticipation and communication, and urban living? These are just some of the questions addressed in this much needed book. Castells avoids any predictions or prescriptions-there have been enough of those-but instead draws on an extraordinary range of detailed evidence and research to describe what is happening, and to help us understand how theInternet has become the medium of the new network society.
Publisher Fact Sheet
A look at how the Internet will change business, the economy & our lives by one of the world's leading thinkers on the new information age.
Table of Contents
Introduction
Lessons from the History of the Internet
The Internet Culture
E-business and the New Economy
Virtual Communities or Network Society?
The Politics of the Internet (I): Computer Networks, Civil Society, and the State
The Politics of the Internet (II): Privacy and Liberty in Cyberspace
Multimedia and the Internet: The Hypertext beyond Convergence
The Geography of the Internet: Networked Places
The Digital Divide in Global Perspective
Conclusion: The Challenges of the Network Society
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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