Digital Universe traces the evolution of digital information and communication technologies used worldwide, from Morse’s telegraph to the emergence of mobile phones as personal computers, and their seismic effects on society. Critical perspectives on the diffusion of these technologies are explored, including the “dark side” of the Internet – privacy infringement, censorship, piracy, and the digital divide. New communication technologies such as multiplayer online role-playing games and virtual/augmented realities are also examined.
This illuminating text introduces readers to important inventors, scientists, artists, and critics, offering a unique blend in its discussion of the history and socio-cultural effects of technology, and its examination of the human face of invention and criticism. This is more than a primer on communication and information technologies; it is an empowering tour of the digital universe offering critical observations and new perspectives on mediated human communication and digitally-augmented intelligence.
“Digital Universe takes the reader into the lives and labs of the pioneers of communication technology, helping us understand the struggles, unexpected successes and failures, and the connections among technologies. This book provides one of the richest sets of technology histories to have been compiled in a single volume.” -- August Grant, University of South Carolina
“In his ground-breaking new book, Peter B. Seel humanizes the story of telecommunication technology and its consequences. Providing a global perspective, Digital Universe thoughtfully examines the social impact of information and communication technologies from YouTube to augmented reality.” -- John V. Pavlik, Rutgers University
The Amazon.com site for the book includes its Look Inside the Book feature that allows readers to see the Table of Contents, introductory pages from each of the 14 chapters, and the complete book index.
At top left, a woman sends a text on her mobile phone as she walks past an illuminated ad for tablet computers in the Paris Metro. At top right, a tour guide talks on her mobile phone in the middle of Vietnam's Mekong Delta. The images are symbolic of the transformation of human communication by these digital tools, a key theme of the book. Photos by the author (Paris) and by Elise Gauvreau (Vietnam) - all rights reserved.
- The Book
- Table of Contents
- Chapter 1 -- Introduction
- Chapter 2 -- Thinkling about Moore's Law
- Chapter 3 -- Critical Perspectives
- Chapter 4 -- Origins of the Internet
- Chapter 5 -- Internet Evolution
- Chapter 6 -- The Web
- Chapter 7 -- Telecommunication and the "Flat" world
- Chapter 8 -- Digital Media Convergence
- Chapter 9 -- The Public and Private Internet
- Chapter 10 -- Censorship and Global Cyberculture
- Chapter 11 -- The Dark Side
- Chapter 12 -- Wired and Wireless Communication Technologies
- Chapter 13 -- Virtual and Augmented Worlds
- Chapter 14 -- The Future of the Digital Universe
- Educator Resources