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—which is the language you need to replicate it—is open, so anyone can change it to suit their needs. Big Tech has done this for profit, but open-source software (along with the more technically complicated consensus governance structure of the Inter- net), speaks to the many different paths for- ward for our increasingly digital world. Like the secret NSA room that exists in a nondescript office building in San Fran- cisco, so too do the material spaces where a free and open Internet is made. Many of these bright lights in the tech universe are unique to the

; the famous Napalm Girl photograph of the late Vietnam War period and the several myths attached to that powerful and provocative image; and the phenomenon of bogus quotations—some of which could be media myths in the making—and the impressive velocity and circulation they reach, thanks to the Internet and social media. These chapters thus extend the examination of media myths to realms of the image and the digital world. And they signal anew that the work of debunking is never over.

observers of their surroundings. The students begin by exploring, and then mapping, the library’s physical and electronic resources. Our intense focus on such fundamentals trains students to see and probe that which they might otherwise overlook in their everyday interactions. In completing this exercise, students examine the physical structure of a library and the various needs that must be met through that structure, familiarize themselves with collections of books and journals, and grasp the connection between the physical and digital worlds of the library

1 Nineteen ninety-fi ve was the inaugural year of the twenty-fi rst century, a clear starting point for contemporary life. It was “the year of the Internet,” when the World Wide Web entered mainstream consciousness, when now-familiar mainstays of the digital world such as Amazon.com, eBay, Craigslist, and Match.com estab- lished their presence online. It was, proclaimed an exuberant newspaper columnist at the time, “the year the Web started changing lives.”1 Nineteen ninety-fi ve was marked by a deepening national preoccupa- tion with terrorism. The massive

in 1995

Valley—an éminence grise who shaves his head. He is respected more than ever. Wired magazine said in 2012 that no one in the preceding twenty years had “done more than Marc Andreessen to change the way we communicate.”34 Andreessen these days heads a venture capital fi rm, Andreessen- Horowitz, that has backed such winners as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Groupon, and Pinterest. Andreessen also is much sought-after for his predictions and assessments, which tend to be sweeping and colorful. He still marvels at the still-unfolding digital world. In a commentary in

in 1995

most of them had heard about the Internet, in part because of newspaper articles that offered introductions to the emergent digital world. 24 | The Year of the Internet twenty-eight years old; he became a billionaire three years later when eBay went public.14 The online dating service Match.com got its start in 1995, and cyber- dating gained recognition as “more than just a passing whim.”15 The New York Times made its fi rst, top-dipping forays into the digital land- scape in October 1995, posting reports at http://www.nytimes.com /pope about the visit to the

in 1995

Watershed Year February 26 Britain’s oldest investment bank, Barings PLC, is forced into bankruptcy protection after a 28-year-old trader in its Singapore offi ce, Nick Leeson, loses $1.38 billion speculating on Tokyo stock prices. February 27 Publication date of a now-famous Newsweek commentary, “The Internet? Bah!” in which the author, Clifford Stoll, dismisses the emergent digital world as over-hyped and over-sold—“a wasteland of unfi ltered data.” March 1 A relative newcomer, Sheryl Crow, wins “record of the year” honors at the annual Grammy Awards ceremony

in 1995

, although the association with silk (which was not a major commodity until much later) gave it a brand, it was a distraction from the route’s real historical significance. More important than any particular commodity was the adoption of writing, which (despite low rates of literacy) expanded the arenas of social interaction. From 3000 BCE until the fifteenth century, writing by hand was the only means of communication, organization, or control beyond the face-to-face community, and written language continues to be essential in the digital world of the twenty- first

assess other factors below), but they do nevertheless constitute one significant aspect of the problem. Jillian York, an active defender of freedom of electronic expres- sion, provides a very good summary of the situation in a blog posted in September 2010. It echoes Ben Gharbia’s: Actors and Parameters of the Revolution | 135 Digital activism has been construed as its own movement, a new [way] of organizing unique to the 21st century digital world. In fact, digital tools are complementary to “traditional” activism, for a number of reasons: They allow organizers

position. Indeed, describing the “monster power” of “rootless white males,” Steve Bannon intuited that a digital world of “intense young men” who “disappeared for days and even weeks into alternative reali- ties” could be transformed for his political purposes.11 In this case, rather than interventionist instincts directed at Russians, Bannon nurtured pro- gun, antigay, white nationalist alliances with Russians who were all too 236 • C h a p t e r T e n happy to cooperate as they built dialogues with the NRA and the National Organization for Marriage, whose