Imaginary Futures

Imaginary Futures : From Thinking Machines to the Global Village

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Description

Winner of the MEA's 2008 Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book in the Field of Media Ecology. 'A compelling, authoritative, and painstakingly documented narrative, Imaginary Futures traces the emergence of the computer era in the context of desperately competing ideologies, economics, and empires. This is a work of passionate and persuasive scholarship by a contemporary social theorist at the top of his game.' Douglas Rushkoff, author, Coercion, Media Virus, Get Back in the Box. 'Imaginary Futures gives insight into how the dominant utopias of today were shaped in the time of the Cold War and served the ideological needs of the elites. While the Cold War West had a much better present, it was the Soviet East which had a vision of the future. The invention of a Western utopia became an important factor in the struggle for global power.' Boris Kagarlitsky, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Comparative Political Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences -- The future is now-- Richard Barbrook argues that, at the height of the Cold War, the Americans invented a truly revolutionary tool: the Internet. Yet, for all of its libertarian potential, hi-tech science soon became a tool of geopolitical dominance. The rest of the world was expected to follow America's path into the networked future. Today, we're still told that the Net is creating the information society. Barbrook shows how we can reclaim its revolutionary purpose: how the DIY ethic of the internet can help people shape information technologies in their own interest and reinvent their own, improved visions of the future.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 134 x 212 x 24mm | 521.64g
  • PLUTO PRESS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745326609
  • 9780745326603
  • 942,287

About Richard Barbrook

Richard Barbrook is Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Westminster and also works for London Student Radio. He is the author of numerous papers, chapters and essays on media studies, politics, democracy and regulation.show more

Review quote

'Imaginary Futures: from thinking machines to the global village' by Richard Barbrook has won the the 2008 Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book in the Field of Media Ecology. -- Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book in the Field of Media Ecology Barbrook has an amusing take on our distorted - if not delusional - relationship with technology, but his underlying point is serious: future visions of technology are used to distract us and also control us, and if we forget these imaginary futures, we are likely to repeat them. -- Guardian Unlimited Barbrook has an amusing take on our distorted - if not delusional - relationship with technology, but his underlying point is serious: future visions of technology are used to distract us and also control us, and if we forget these imaginary futures, we are likely to repeat them. -- Guardian Unlimited A compelling, authoritative, and painstakingly documented narrative, Imaginary Futures traces the emergence of the computer era in the context of desperately competing ideologies, economics, and empires. This is a work of passionate and persuasive scholarship by a contemporary social theorist at the top of his game. -- Douglas Rushkoff, author, Coercion, Media Virus, Get Back in the Box. A compelling, authoritative, and painstakingly documented narrative, Imaginary Futures traces the emergence of the computer era in the context of desperately competing ideologies, economics, and empires. This is a work of passionate and persuasive scholarship by a contemporary social theorist at the top of his game. -- Douglas Rushkoff, author, Coercion, Media Virus, Get Back in the Box. Imaginary Futures gives insight into how the dominant utopias of today were shaped in the time of the Cold War and served the ideological needs of the elites. While the Cold War West had a much better present, it was the Soviet East which had a vision of the future. The invention of a Western utopia became an important factor in the struggle for global power. -- Boris Kagarlitsky, Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Comparative Political Studies, the Russian Academy of Sciences Imaginary Futures gives insight into how the dominant utopias of today were shaped in the time of the Cold War and served the ideological needs of the elites. While the Cold War West had a much better present, it was the Soviet East which had a vision of the future. The invention of a Western utopia became an important factor in the struggle for global power. -- Boris Kagarlitsky, Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Comparative Political Studies, the Russian Academy of Sciencesshow more

Table of contents

1: The Future Is What It Used To Be 2: The American Century 3: Cold War Computing 4: The Human Machine 5: Cybernetic Supremacy 6: The Global Village 7: The Cold War Left 8: The Chosen Few 9: Free Workers In The Affluent Society 10: The Prophets Of Post-Industrialism 11: The American Road to Cybernetic Communism 12: The Leader Of The Free World 13: The Great Game 14: The American Invasion Of Vietnam 15: Those Who Forget The Future Are Condemned To Repeat It References Indexshow more

Rating details

27 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 19% (5)
4 56% (15)
3 19% (5)
2 7% (2)
1 0% (0)
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