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New Media, Communication, and Society

A Fast, Straightforward Examination of Key Topics

Mary Ann Allison and Cheryl A. Casey

New Media, Communication, and Society is a fast, straightforward examination of key topics which will be useful and engaging for both students and professors. It connects students to wide-ranging resources and challenges them to develop their own opinions. Moreover, it encourages students to develop media literacy so they can speak up and  make a difference in the world. Short chapters with lots of illustrations encourage reading and provide a springboard for conversation inside and outside of the classroom. Wide-ranging topics spark interest. Chapters include suggestions for additional exploration, a media literacy exercise, and a point that is just for fun. Every chapter includes thought leaders, ranging from leading researchers to business leaders to entrepreneurs, from Socrates to Doug Rushkoff and Lance Strate to Bill Gates.

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An End and a Beginning: Seeing Ourselves as Our Global Brain Might See Us (Mary Ann Allison / Cheryl A. Casey)


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An End and a Beginning: Seeing Ourselves as Our Global Brain Might See Us

Mary Ann Allison and Cheryl A. Casey

Pictures of Earth

At the beginning of this book, we wrote about how new media are enabling collective intelligence and a global brain, and we asked you to look at your personal media use.

In 1972, members of the U.S. space mission Apollo 17 took a now-famous picture of Earth from space called The Blue Marble. This striking picture helped many of us to visualize more clearly how connected all human beings are.

Now we invite you to examine the best information picture of humanity as a whole that we know of.

This information picture is taken from The State of the Future, a report created every year by a group called The Millennium Project (see Figure 31.2 for more about the Project). The State of the Future is a great example of what can be done using new media. In fact, it would be impossible to assemble this picture without the ICT network, which we have been studying.

Here are the first two paragraphs of the 2013–2014 report (p. 1). The information is very dense. To make it easier to read, we’ve put it into bullet points without changing anything else.

The global situation for humanity continues to improve in general, but at the expense of the environment....

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