Thursday, January 6, 2011

Poster - "Postmodern Virtualities"

Writing in 1995, Poster muses on how Internet communication might drastically change the way humans interrelate and how communities function. He dwells on the possibility for people who have never met and will probably never meet to interact over the Internet, thus allowing for greater "fluidity of identity." He suggests that, although it is possible an authoritarian technocracy could develop, this nature of the medium will help to disrupt to metanarratives of modernity, allowing for "little narratives" in the postmodern world.

The problem with pondering the development of a new technology early in its life is that an author may either overestimate where it is going or else be overly cautious about how much it is going to change the world. Other than imagining a rapid development and implementation of virtual reality, Poster walks this line rather well.

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