War of the Worlds: Cyberspace and the High-Tech Assault on Reality

Mark Slouka, Author
Mark Slouka, Author Basic Books $20 (208p) ISBN 978-0-465-00486-7
Reviewed on: 07/03/1995
Release date: 07/01/1995
Paperback - 185 pages - 978-0-465-00487-4
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As millions of computer users plug into the Internet, access online services, play computer simulation games and explore virtual realities, abstract communication replaces firsthand experience, entertainment becomes mere spectatorship and ordinary human contact is devalued, declares Slouka. His thoughtful, provocative critique deflates the giddy, messianic claims of digital-revolution proponents. A lecturer in English and popular culture at UC San Diego, Slouka deftly skewers the notion that universal access to an information superhighway will empower the weak and foster community. Attacking cyberspace enthusiasts who envisage a ``digital hive'' wiring together countless computer buffs into a ``global mind,'' Slouka argues that such fantasies betray a collectivist mentality and a deep distrust of the individual. His withering broadside makes a compelling case that the so-called digital revolution is distraction on a grand scale. $25,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Aug.)
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