NYU Steinhardt

Topics in Digital Media: Visions and Revisions of Cyberspace

  • Course Number: MCC-GE 2132
  • Hours: 40
  • Units: 4
  • Description: For the first time in history, computer-mediated culture has become mainstream for a majority of individuals in technologically developed societies. From e-mail to texting, from online gaming to online banking, from You Tube to Hulu, from DoS attacks to Second Life sit-ins, nearly every traditional aspect of our lives has found a new expression in its digital proxy. In order to understand the cultural, social, political & economic consequences of this development, we must look to the origins of today’s cyberculture, in the futuristic visions (both dystonian & utopian) that shaped the development of today’s networked technologies. We will trace the genealogy of these visions, as they developed in tandem with the growing digital communications infrastructure over the past three quarters of a century, & evolved into new forms that even the most forward-thinking of visionaries could not have predicted. Ultimately, one can argue the the Internet has both exceeded & fallen short of the hype that surrounded its birth & development, & by comparing the myth to the reality, we may better understand what aspects of the human condition are likely to persist regardless of technological development.
  • Old Course Number: E58.2132