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The Information Bomb

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  199 ratings  ·  10 reviews
“Civilization or the militarization of science?” With this typically hyperbolic and provocative question as a starting point, Paul Virilio explores the dominion of techno-science, cyberwar and the new information technologies over our lives ... and deaths. After the era of the atomic bomb, Virilio posits an era of genetic and information bombs which replace the apocalyptic ...more
Hardcover, 146 pages
Published July 17th 2000 by Verso (first published 2000)
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This is a deeply contradictory book.

Virilio prophesies some future effects of this information revolution, ranging from the bombardment of advertisements to the rapid transmission of information, to cybercrime, wars of information, the commodification of human life, and perhaps even 'viral marketing'. In these things, he is correct - rapid transmission of images and ideas has had a rapid effect on culture, perhaps not seen since the Industrial Revolution or the printing press.

But this insight is
Wythe Marschall
The book is printed handsomely, and I would buy others in this series, particularly the volume of Derrida's.

Further, Virilio offers genuine insight into the dangers of a hyper-connected global economy. He should be perhaps be read as an anti-technocracy/pro-regulation thinker of merit.

That's as far as my attempt at positivity re Paul Virilio goes.

Like Baudrillard, but without that writer's incontestable eloquence, Virilio charges confidently and glibly into and beyond the horizons of various con
Apr 14, 2009 Paul rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
I first read Virilio in college, when I was too young to understand what I thought about the world. Now I'm 26 (27 in a month!) and I know exactly what I think about the world. And I think the acceleration of time and the shrinking of the world by means of technology are extremely pertinent. Virilio's writing is in-depth and insightful, and not extremely difficult to understand. The problem is the guy is super conservative, and a bit doomsday about where things are going w/r/t technology. The wa ...more
The central argument of this book (that "science, which was once a rigorous field thriving on intellectual adventure, is today bogged down in a technological adventurism that denatures it") is not only important, but is one of the most important thoughts of our time. Unfortunately, this book does not give this argument the support that it deserves.

Many of Virilio's thoughts are in line with Baudrillard and, like Baudrillard, he is deeply concerned with the fundamental shift in man's destiny (to
This book was first published in 1998 but at times it is rather prophetic of recent times, especially in light of the global 2008 financial crash, and more recently in the USA with the 'scandal' of the NSA, exposing publicly the information war that that country has been engaging in for decades. Virilio links, among other things, an increasingly globalised commercial world with the control of information by the USA, and its pressure for global free trade with global hegemonic information war. In ...more
Bryan Kelly
A readable, insightful and purely philosophical (i.e. refreshingly free of statistics, charts, etc.) look at how technology changes our experience of knowledge and time. The central and somewhat overblown point about the end of local time and the rise of instantaneousness is, fifteen years after this was written, not what I would consider the central problem of digital encroachment from either a philosophical or practical perspective. But certain passages do seem to accurately predict innovation ...more
First encountered this book one bored afternoon spent in the college library. What attracted me was the book's appearance. It's a beautiful book. So I opened it and the ideas were interesting, but the tone and the style of the prose is more interesting. Frenetic. Hectic. Apocalyptic. Can't remember much, but I remember a lot of neologisms and words I haven't encountered before. It's an example of those books that is somewhat beyond my understanding to totally appreciate.
There are some good points, but, like in Baudrillard, these are obscured by a writing style that seems to only consist of aphoristic hyperboles strung together without any cogent argument coming forth. Like if Nietzsche was some fucking retarded cyberpunk obsessive who made annoying comments in the back of a freshman year philosophy class. And, as with so many futurologists, he gets proven wrong really quickly.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I checked this out from the library in April 2007 but never got around to reading it.
Keith Seekwhence
Been sitting on the shelf...will get to it.
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Paul Virilio is a cultural theorist and urbanist. He is best known for his writings about technology as it has developed in relation to speed and power, with diverse references to architecture, the arts, the city and the military.
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