cover image Being Digital

Being Digital

Nicholas Negroponte. Alfred A Knopf Inc, $30 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-679-43919-6

In an upbeat primer on the information revolution, Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab and a columnist for Wired, says we are making a transition to a ``post-information age'' where digitized transmissions will become extremely personalized. He predicts that interactive multimedia will become more booklike, for example, a TV or video program with which you can curl up and either have a conversation or be told a story. In his scenario, the personal computer-gateway to a multitude of information and entertainment services-will replace the TV set, and by 2005 Americans will spend more hours on the Internet than watching network TV. Negroponte also describes the Media Lab's teaching of learning-disabled children, critiques U.S. TV manufacturers' approach to high-definition television, touts the advantages of E-mail over the uneconomical fax machine (``a step backward'') and ruminates on the emerging global digitized workplace. 100,000 first printing; BOMC selection; author tour. (Feb.)