Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace

Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace

Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace

Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace

Synopsis

The number of travelers along the information superhighway is increasing at a rate of 10 percent a month. How will this communications revolution affect our culture and society? Pierre Levy shows how the unfettered exchange of ideas in cyberspace has the potential to liberate us from the social and political hierarchies that have stood in the way of mankind's advancement.

Anthropologist, historian, sociologist, and philosopher, Levy writes with a depth of scholarship and imaginative insight rare among media critics. At once a profound historical analysis of the development of human culture and a blueprint for the future, Collective Intelligence is a visionary work.

Excerpt

Pierre Lévy Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace is an important contribution to the field of computers and social theory. The following translation (from its original French) by Robert Bononno brings to the attention of American and English-speaking readers one of the Continent's most imaginative thinkers about computers and their impact on society and culture.

Lévy's work is part of a long line of inquiry by French social theorists into technology and communication that extends back to Jacque Ellul The Technological Society and Simon Nora and Alain Minc The Computerization of Society. Its metaphysical and epistemological roots also recall the work of the French religious philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Thinking about computers the way Lévy does in Collective Intelligence is atypical of most Americans writing about computers. His work is not only deeply cultural and philosophical, but in the end, is also deeply metaphysical and utopian. Lévy perceives the computeriza-

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