From the book lists at Adware Report:

All information current as of 14:29:13 Pacific Time, Monday, 21 February 2005.

Virtuality Check: Power Relations and Alternative Strategies in the Information Society

   by Francois Fortier

    August, 2001


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Editorial description(s):

About the Author
François Fortier is a political economist who has contributed extensively to books and journals on the political economy of the Internet.

Book Description
Information and communications technologies (ICTs) and the new economy they herald are generally either glorified as unprecedented opportunities for post-industrial enfranchisement, or vilified as a mirage conjured up for their own ends by those who run the world. This book sets out to review the relationship between information technologies and society. It examines the development of ICTs, and explores the ways in which they are used to subjugate workers, manipulate consumers, and extend media monopolies and commercial control. Fortier argues that, in their predominant forms, ICTs do little more than polarize economic and political power in an anti-democratic fashion. Yet alternative uses of ICTs already exist and have been promoted by progressive social sectors for nearly two decades. Concluding with a study of these initiatives, Fortier shows how they are aimed at facilitating rather than obstructing democracy.

Reader review(s):

If you read WIRED, read this., September 17, 2004
This is an amazing book, and well written too. I came across it lying on a shelf when I had fifteen minutes to spare and began reading it in the centre, but had to go back and start from the beginning.

The book is small and would only take a couple of hours (at most) to read, but you'll likely find yourself stopping and thinking about the last paragraph you read, as I did.

I'll apologize for not summarizing the thesis of the book, but it contains a pile of interesting and arguable topics on the social and political effects of the internet. Simply a pleasure to read.

The type of book that you can keep in your hip pocket and read a couple of pages at a time. Great stuff; the stuff that Wired magazine should be. With an academic title like that, you'd think it was difficult to soak in. The opposite is true.

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