The powerful political call for ‘open access’ to information has become a formative aspect of our societies and culture. As an expression of cultural freedom, digital technology creates a tension between access to information on the one hand and control and power strategies that seek to restrict access and centralize datasets on the other. This book considers the evolution of information systems as centering upon control, open access, and knowledge, tracing the development of these notions from the Nineteenth Century.
Author Sara de Freitas provides a kind of cultural history that reworks not only how we think about information per se but also how we reconsider the human in relation to it – demonstrating the ways in which information and its pervasive influence upon cultural forms is writ large upon our social and physical spaces, our human processing, our data systems, and our everyday life. The cross-disciplinary approach used in this book will appeal to researchers and PhD students in a wide variety of disciplines, interested in information as a guiding force in the changes in our spaces, both digital and cultural.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Freedom and Information: A New Digital Age? 1. Visibility and Power: Information as Knowledge 2. Power and Knowledge: Nineteenth-Century Panopticism and the National Library 3. Control Not Freedom: Controls and Checks in the Twentieth Century 4. Freedom and Information: Transitions in the Nature of Information in the New Digital Age 5. Freedom from Control: The Future Role of Self-Organised Communities Conclusion: Control and Power: The Arc Towards the Control Society
Sara de Freitas is Director of Research at the Serious Games Institute at the University of Coventry where she leads an applied research team working closely with industry. She holds a visiting senior research fellowship at the London Knowledge Lab, London, serves as Adjunct Professor at the University of Malta, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.