1. "Routinely, events in cyberspace are being reflected in physical space, and vice versa" (Prologue, page 3). The notes mention a source for a more in-depth discussion of this topic. What would be some examples of how cyberspace events are being reflected in physical space, or physical events in cyberspace?
Our economy and national security are fully dependent upon information technology and the information infrastructure. A network of networks directly supports the operation of all sectors of our economy--energy (electric power, oil, and gas), transportation (rail, air, merchant marine), finance and banking, information and telecommunications, publis health, emergency services, water, chemical, defense industrial base, food, agriculture, and postal and shipping. The reach of these computer networks exceeds the bounds of cyberspace. They also control physical objects secu as electrical transmissions, trains, pipeline pumps, chemical vats, radars, and stock markets. [Chapter 1, page 10]
As the statement argues, we are becoming highly reliant on technology and networks. However, this realm is still foreign to many layman; they have no control or knowledge regarding it. Could it be more easily exploited, then? Or shall I say, are we throwing our lives too quickly onto a virtual infrastructure that could be collapsed in a way that a physical infrastructure is immune to?
3. "The constants in my world are no longer provided by a contiguous home turf: increasingly, my sense of community and belonging derives from being electronically networked to the widely scattered people and places I care about" (Chapter 1, page 17). I, and probably many others around me, know this feeling exactly. What are the possible effects of removing the physical element from people's sense of "connectedness", or even, "home"?
4. "I can also peer electronically from private spaces into public ones and from public spaces into otherwise private ones..." (Chapter 2, Page 28). Though the point being made here is somewhat different, the issue of surveillance and privacy raises a question: In a world where everything is increasingly able to be recorded and monitored, are we headed (perhaps unknowingly) into an Orwellian situation where our personal freedoms are jeapordized. For instance, saying the word "bomb" in my high school was grounds for suspension. If microphones were hidden throughout the schoolbuilding, it would mean you would be unable to speak that word even in jest or out of context.
Mitchell, William J. Me++: The Cyborg Self and the Networked City. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003.
Last modified 1 February 2005