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Information please - culture and politics in the age of digital machines
Mark Poster
Paperback / softback
Duke University Press
UK Publication Date

Information Please advances the ongoing critical project of the media scholar Mark Poster: theorizing the social and cultural effects of electronically mediated information. In this book Poster conceptualizes a new relation of humans to information machines, a relation that avoids privileging either the human or the machine but instead focuses on the structures of their interactions. Synthesizing a broad range of critical theory, he explores how texts, images, and sounds are made different when they are mediated by information machines, how this difference affects individuals as well as social and political formations, and how it creates opportunities for progressive change.

Poster's critique develops through a series of lively studies. Analyzing the appearance of Sesame Street's Bert next to Osama Bin Laden in a New York Times news photo, he examines the political repercussions of this Internet "hoax" as well as the unlimited opportunities that Internet technology presents for the appropriation and alteration of information. He considers the implications of open-source licensing agreements, online personas, the sudden rise of and interest in identity theft, peer-to-peer file sharing, and more. Focusing explicitly on theory, he reflects on the limitations of critical concepts developed before the emergence of new media, particularly globally networked digital communications, and he argues that, contrary to the assertions of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, new media do not necessarily reproduce neoimperialisms. Urging a rethinking of assumptions ingrained during the dominance of broadcast media, Poster charts new directions for work on politics and digital culture.

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Mark Poster is Professor of History and of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine. His many books include What's the Matter with the Internet?; Cultural History and Postmodernity; The Second Media Age; and The Mode of Information.

"Engaging, informative, and thoroughly enjoyable, Information Please is a tour de force in its clear articulation of a coherent approach to the spectrum of issues arising from the penetration of information technology into every aspect of human life, from questions of global politics to the construction and protection of identities and selves in the context of digital media."-Tim Lenoir, Kimberly J. Jenkins Professor of New Technologies and Society, Duke University

"Mark Poster has been one of the foremost scholars of global digital culture over the past decades. Information Please, probably his best and most advanced book to date, continues his project of using contemporary theory to interrogate new media and new media to illustrate and critique certain forms of theory."-Douglas Kellner, coauthor of The Postmodern Adventure: Science, Technology, and Cultural Studies at the Third Millennium

"This book is a welcome publication. It proposes new directions for studying the information transference mediated by digital media, and can inspire the reader to look beyond the confinement of current theories, and explore new challenges and significance in the age of digital machines."

Discourse & Society - Chong Han

Keyword Index
Information society.|Digital media - Social aspects.
Country of Publication
North Carolina
Number of Pages

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