Navigating in Cyberspace: A Guide to the Next Millennium

Description

194 pages
$29.95
ISBN 0-921912-85-4
DDC 303.49'09'05

Author

Year

1995

Contributor

Reviewed by Geoff Cragg

Geoff Cragg teaches in the Faculty of General Studies at the University
of Calgary.

Review

Frank Ogden’s latest production, a guide for the cyber-perplexed,
provides some interesting facts (the Soladey–2 is a Japanese
toothbrush that cleans teeth ionically, thus eliminating routine
cleaning by dentists) and provocative ideas (city-states are about to
re-emerge). At his best, Ogden is a keen observer who punctures
complacency.

Unfortunately, Navigating is quite uneven in quality. The book consists
of a series of very short articles arranged under eight headings
(including “Communications,” “Biomatters,” and
“Entertainment”) that act as a rough organizing device. The result
is a book that is little more than an anthology of short takes. Instead
of establishing the depth of analysis and argument his topic requires,
Ogden seems to parody McLuhan in creating hyperbolic pronouncements such
as “In the late twentieth century, computer literacy is more important
than knowing how to read and write.” More seriously, his technophilia
blinds him to the perils of our present direction. His only response
appears to be denial: “Technology will make many of today’s problems
vanish. Need I repeat all those worries from the past—nuclear
conflagration, oil shortages, global warming. ozone holes, and so
forth—that just disappeared?” Perhaps in his next volume, this
self-described “seer of change” will find a new accommodation with
the written form and repair his credibility.

Citation

Ogden, Frank., “Navigating in Cyberspace: A Guide to the Next Millennium,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/2194.