Reference Shelf: The Digital Age
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Digital technology has transformed our lives so completely that we hardly recognize it and so quickly that we have yet to grasp its implications. No industry has been left untouched; every aspect of how we communicate and how and where we get our information has been affected. We are connected as never before. Even the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court has said that a cellphone can contain the “sum of an individual’s private life”—surely a combination of the personal and the technological that is unique in history. Yet even as we gain greater and greater access to information, explore new avenues of creativity and new kinds of entertainment, and find new ways to express ourselves and integrate our social activities, we crave still more. Change is the only constant. How are we to make sense of this ever-shifting terrain—as we must, or be overwhelmed by it? The Digital Age challenges us to understand not only the great potential good offered by modern digital technology but its negative consequences: loss of privacy, erosion of face-to-face communication abilities, exposure to cybercrime, even such seemingly mundane consequences as the decline of handwriting among children. None of these issues is abstract; we need to know where digital technology is taking us.
- Individual Rights
- Digital Entertainment
- Unintended Consequences