Virilio's exploration of the relationship between technology, speed, war and information technology weaves together a breathtaking worldview of horror, exhilaration and hope.
A prolific French intellectual known for his pronouncements on media, computers and technology, Virilio writes in the subversive tradition of Michel Foucault, Jean Baudrillard and Theodore Roszak. In this bracing collection of essays and articles, originally published in France in 1998, he emerges as a deeply skeptical critic of "techno-culture," his blanket term encompassing cyberspace, Hollywood and pop culture, transgenic foodstuffs, animal cloning and the human genome project. Without much evidence, Virilio charges that the United States is waging an "information war" by using the Internet, the Web and global communications to foster "cybernetic colonialism," a monopoly of knowledge abetting control over minds everywhere and over the politics of sovereign states. Far from history coming to an end, as Francis Fukuyama suggested, techno-progress, in Virilio's diagnosis, is driving a new era of all-out globalization, spreading virtual realities, mass culture, biotechnology and weapons of mass destruction across the planet. This opens up possibilities for totalitarian control, social engineering and telesurveillance, he warns. Included are pieces on the space race, the suicidal Heaven's Gate cybercult, the divorce of science from ethics, the controversial "Sensation" art exhibit and other topics Virilio astutely sets in the context of our modern age of "pseudo-individualism" and a "liberal hedonism" that is "nothing more than 'every man for himself.'" While many of his prognoses are exaggerated and his academic prose can be tough sledding, Virilio's cyber-skepticism is a refreshing antidote to the "global village" mantra of Net gurus.Von Klappentext im Buch The Information Bomb (2005)