Vitanza's Cyber Reader And Internet Confusion Essay

707 words - 3 pages

Vitanza's CyberReader and Internet Confusion

A rock falls off a cliff and hits another. Both these rocks in turn collide with many other rocks as they fall down the cliff. Finally, all the rocks splash into the water with a mess of confusion and chaos. Victor Vitanza's compiled text, CyberReader , made me feel as if I had finally reached the cushioned bottom with a sense of relief and triumph, tinged with a bit of confusion. Vitanza attempts to, but does not successfully accomplish his goal, which is in his own words is "to introduce. . .the Internet (the Net) and the World Wide Web (WWW)" (vii). He progresses from an explanation of the terms used in the virtual world to an explanation of a wide array of advantages and disadvantages of the Internet. Each side is unselfishly supported by specific examples giving readers a chance to make their own opinions. Vitanza has chosen articles which incorporate the basics of the Internet, its history and its downside in an open and honest manner. Unfortunately, CyberReader is not for those who want a clear cut step-by-step method to the Internet.

Vitanza begins CyberReader with articles defining virtual reality, cyberspace and hyperreality. One murky chapter follows another, providing readers with a glimpse into the world they are entering when using the Internet. To begin with, although the articles attempt to focus on making analogies to real life events, they tend to be vague. In fact, as in the section titled, "Enchanted Castles", by Umberto Eco, there is often not even a direct connection made to the Internet. Compounding the confusion, Vitanza at times leans towards over explanation rather than understatement. The authors plunge into a long, endless spiel on privacy, censorship and freedom issues which Vitanza seems to abhor letting go of. Obviously these topics are important, but the questions is, does he need to address every aspect of it? Sadly, Vitanza did not finish here. Leading off with, Michael Meyer and Anne Underwood's "Crimes of the Net", he dives right into a variety of articles which demonstrate sexual politics, pornography and violence on the Internet. This section only reiterates the much belabored point that the Internet is...

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