Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of

Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics How has the Internet, a medium that thrives on control, been accepted as a medium of freedom Why is freedom increasingly indistinguishable from paranoid control In Control and Freedom, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun explores the current political and technological coupling of freedom with control by tracing the emergence of the Internet as a mass medium The parallel and paranoid myths of the Internet as total freedom total control, she says, stem from our reduction of political problems into technological onesDrawing on the theories of Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault and analyzing such phenomena as Webcams and face recognition technology, Chun argues that the relationship between control and freedom in networked contact is experienced and negotiated through sexuality and race She traces the desire for cyberspace to cyberpunk fiction and maps the transformation of public private into open closed Analyzing pornocracy, she contends that it was through cyberporn and the government s attempts to regulate it that the Internet became a marketplace of ideas and commodities Chun describes the way Internet promoters conflated technological empowerment with racial empowerment and, through close examinations of William Gibson sNeuromancer and Mamoru Oshii s Ghost in the Shell, she analyzes the management of interactivity in narratives of cyberspaceThe Internet s potential for democracy stems not from illusory promises of individual empowerment, Chun argues, but rather from the ways in which it exposes us to others and to other machines in ways we cannot control Using fiber optic networks light coursing through glass tubes as metaphor and reality, Control and Freedom engages the rich philosophical tradition of light as a figure for knowledge, clarification, surveillance, and discipline, in order to argue that fiber optic networks physically instantiate, and thus shatter, enlightenment

10 thoughts on “Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics

  1. Thai Divone Thai Divone says:

    Wow I can t say wow enough I feel bad for not getting to this book earlier It presents a very interesting and illuminating critique of Foucault s panopticon, and from there only improves Combining both Lacan and feminist postcolonialism, the shear breadth of her theoretical quest is almost intimidating in its magnitude and creativity I can t wr

  2. Steen Ledet Steen Ledet says:

    Good book on how internet freedom works through and as control.

  3. Tony Poerio Tony Poerio says:

    Around the time I was in college, I got very interested in new media theory I was studying literature at the time This is one of the best contemporary books examining the internet as a mass medium, and I d strongly recommend it to anyone else interested in the subject.The book is academic, so be prepared for that and it s probably best read used

  4. Nissa Nissa says:

    a less idealistic,sort of practical study of new media particularly compared to Language of New Media also really interesting and thought provoking if you re interested in new media, I highly recommend reading both this book and LoNM feel free to ask meabout either book, cuz I love talking about both of them.

  5. Al Matthews Al Matthews says:

    I can t say I loved the excerpt I read from this, but I m giving it another shot on strength of prof recommendation.

  6. Robert Robert says:

    This looks very promising Have any of you all new media folks read this one or anyone

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