Understanding New Media: Augmented Knowledge and Culture

Understanding New Media: Augmented Knowledge and Culture

Understanding New Media: Augmented Knowledge and Culture

Understanding New Media: Augmented Knowledge and Culture

Synopsis

This book outlines the development currently underway in the technology of new media & looks further to examine the unforeseen effects of this phenomenon on our culture, our philosophies, & our spiritual outlook. The digital revolution is something fundamentally different from simply the introduction of yet another medium to our culture: it marks a paradigm shift in our relation to all media, to all our senses, all our expressions. The new media are transforming our definitions of culture & knowledge & transcending barriers in ways that will have lasting implications for generations to come.

Excerpt

The Internet is growing quickly. An estimated 1.4 billion gigabytes of information were produced in 1999. In July 2000, Cyveillance claimed that 7 million new pages are added each day and that the Internet had surpassed 2.1 billion pages. Companies such as Intelliseek and BrightPlanet say this is only the surface web and speak of a deep web with more than 550 billion online documents, which includes all the databases and intranet materials not available through simple web pages. In 2000, it was claimed that only about 1 billion of these pages had been catalogued by standard search engines. By January 2004, Google had indexed over 2 billion pages. That number doubled in February 2004 and, as of 1 April 2004, there were 4,285,199,774 indexed pages. By November 2004, this number had increased to 8,058,044,651 pages. In 2000 there were no indexed images. In April 2004 there were 880,000,000 indexed images.

The number of users is growing quickly. When the Internet began (1968 in Britain, 1969 in the United States), it was an experimental method linking a few scientists. By 1989 there were 100,000 hosts. In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau (CERN) introduced the hypertext transfer protocol (http) that began the World Wide Web (WWW). By 1992, the number of hosts had increased to 1 million. The advent of browsers, beginning with Mosaic in 1993 (then Netscape), transformed the Internet from a platform for geeks to a new tool for the world. In 1995 there were approximately 5 million users. In the autumn of 1995 Microsoft Explorer came out. By 1996 there were 50 million users. By 2000, there were 211 million. The so-called dot.com bust did not change this trend. By December 2004, there were 812 million users. By the end of December 2005, there were 1,018,057,389 users, according to World Internet Usage Statistics. Estimates claim that the (fixed line) Internet will rise to 1,460 million by 2007. In Denmark there are predictions that by 2008, 100 per cent of the population will have personal computers and cell phones.

The languages of the Internet are also changing quickly. In 1995, most users were in the United States and the Internet was over 90 per cent English. By June 2000, English had dropped to 51 per cent and was now one of thirty-two major languages on the Internet. In 2004 English accounted for 35.8 per cent, Chinese was the second language of the Internet at 14.1 per cent and Asian language sites . . .

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