Internet Dreams

Internet Dreams

Archetypes, Myths, and Metaphors

Edited by Mark J. Stefik

Foreword by Vinton Cerf

Rejecting the limiting metaphor of "the information superhighway," the contributors propose four richer metaphors for the evolution of the Internet.





Rejecting the limiting metaphor of "the information superhighway," the contributors propose four richer metaphors for the evolution of the Internet.

The "information superhighway" is a metaphor oft used to describethe internet, used so often that Stefik fears we're in danger ofsubjecting the evolution of the net to the limiting implications of this metaphor. Stefik, along with a host of prescient technothinkers and doers, examine four richer, more powerful metaphorsand their Jungian archetypes that together should expand anyone'sthinking about the cyber world... And those metaphors are: digitallibrary (The Keeper of Knowledge), electronic mail (Communicator), electronic marketplace (Trader), and digital world (Adventurer). The summoning of the archetypes in service of Stefik's argument isless silicon psychobabble than it is a compelling way to organize this book around the very real ways in which the net is being used.

Contributors The I-Way as Publishing and Community Memory Vannevar Bush, J. C. R. Licklider, Robert E. Kahn, Joshua Lederberg, John Browning, Scott D. N. Cook, Vicky Reich, Mark Weiser, Ranjit Makkuni • The I-Way as a Communications Medium Lee Sproull, Samer Faraj, Jay Machado, Lynn Conway, Joshua Lederberg • Selling Goods and Services the I-Way Thomas Malone, Joanne Yates, Robert Benjamin, Laura Fillmore, Mark Stefik • The I-Way as a Gateway to Experience Pavel Curtis, Julian Dibbell, Harry Collins, Mark Stefik, John Seeley Brown, William Wulf, Barbara Viglizzo


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262193733 436 pp. | 5.6 in x 8.6 in


$26.00 X ISBN: 9780262692021 436 pp. | 5.6 in x 8.6 in


Mark J. Stefik

Mark Stefik in an inventor and Research Fellow at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where he directs the Information Sciences and Technologies Laboratory.


Vinton Cerf.


  • Before we build, we imagine. And the trajectory of imagination-past tells volumes about futures to come. Stefik has assembled a brilliant collection of visions to ponder. Read closely, and you will catch a clear glimpse of the possibilities that lie ahead.

    Paul Saffo

    Director, Institute For The Future

  • We are in the early stages of a revolution in the computing industry. The Web represents the convergence of two powerful forces—network computing and visual computing. The Web is bringing the online experience ever closer to that of the real world via interactive 3D graphics, audio, and video. Applications will be so engaging and intuitive that it will dramatically enhance the way we work, the way we learn, and the way we socialize. Mark Stefik brings the excitement of this revolution into the forefront of our imaginations in his enjoyable new book.

    Dr. Edward McCracken

    Chairman & CEO, Silicon Graphics, Inc., and former Co-chair, National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council