Hassan (on page 2 of the reading) talks about how informing his son Theo, aged 10, that we live in an ‘information society’ would be ‘meaningless’ in that his son has known no other state of society. As we progress in the readings over the next few weeks, we will appreciate the distinct historical shifts from pre-industrial to industrial to post-industrial society and how these have shaped what we now know as the ‘information society’.
The reading by Dyson et al. is viewed by most academic commentators today as lending itself to an internet-driven zeitgest. Contra-Dyson and her fellow cyber-evangelists, the information society is not a utopian paradise but rather stratified by class, race, gender, and other social inequalities. We will explore these concepts in more detail as we move through the semester.