Across the world, developed and developing nations are racing to connect their citizenry via fibre optics. Electronic networking is being asked to carry the hopes of brave new digital societies into a new millennium. The dream is of an electronic democracy on a global scale: dissolving hierarchies; offering universal access, untrammelled creativity, unlimited knowledge, empowering connectivity. Utopian dreams of the late twentieth century reside in this transforming power of information technology. The Internet, a global network of networks with no centre, has become the focus for hopes of a liberation through electronic interaction. The Modernist hope earlier invested in industrial technology has been displaced onto its post-industrial successor. Global connectivity relates in other ways to the long quest for Utopia. The dream of a common language haunts a system built on computer language. The very word Utopia, deriving from Thomas Moore's book of 1516, means "no place"; the Internet is a world-wide no-place. This technology of the immaterial, travelling at the speed of light, stands in a complex relation to Utopia.
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