Steven Berlin Johnson is known for his reputation of being able to scale what the future holds through a differential paradigm that he sets basing from the present society. His ability to do so has made most of his books a must read especially for those who are enthusiasts of change. Through the researches that he does, he has made it certain that the changes in the world that affects the human society are clearly explained and outlined as to how they positively or negatively affect the human development.
Through this, social and technological developments have been widely used as a topic for his books. Steven Berlin Johnson at present continues to startle the world of book-publication with his style of research and writing. He lives with his wife and two sons while he continues to write other books and do several columns for the internet at www.stevenberlinjohnson.com and he is the present editor of the Wired Magazine. He also continues to share his ideas to the young generation by being a resident writer in the Journal paper of the New York University Department of Journalism.
Among his other works include “The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Epidemic and Hoe it changed Science, Cities and the Modern World”. This book has also been one of the best selling published work of Johnson after he launched the “Interface Culture”.
I.About the Book
Interface Culture showed that one of the greatest advancements that the human society ever jumped into for the past ten decades was the development of the cyberspace or the Internet. Before the said advancement, it could be observed that seas and mountains have separated the world, and that people were living in two different sides of the world and that communication from both sides was not that easy to incur.
However, with the introduction of the cyber world, everything changes. It just happens that with just one click of a button, an individual could already be wired through to the world. This is the idea that Johnson point out in his written work. This book has been mainly devoted to help the society see the actual effects that the internet caused the cultures and the personal and behavioral development of people at present.
Certainly, it is through this book that Johnson himself tried to outline the future possibilities that could be brought about by technology in changing the actual view of the society as a whole to the reality of culture mixing and global peace as well. It could be noted that through this written work, he naturally gave life to the widely used system of communication. He clearly points out that a world without computers is quite unimaginable for the generation that has just been born today. To them, it would the past years without the existence of computers may have been quite boring an uncivilized. Yes, cyber world has completely changed the views of the society from what is necessary and what is simply a luxury in life.
II.Summary of the Book
Interface Culture focuses of technological advancements of communication, particularly the internet, and how it affects the society at present. The said book by Johnson has been mainly a rhetorical writing that helps the readers understand the reality of “Interface” and the great impact that it has upon the lives of those who are directly linked to the said technological development.
The interface avant-garde has quite been the core idea of the discussion that Johnson has presented in this book. The use of GUI’s (Graphical User Interface) have made it possible for certain individuals, even those who are not specifically involved in the usage of the Internet has caused much individual advancements among people in the society. It is mainly pointed out in this book that the changes that the introduction of the cyber world has radically performed social connection among races around the globe.
Among the said advancements, Johnson focused on the social impact of the said Interface. Cultures from around the world are already wired together and are thus able to learn about each other with just a click of the button. It could not be denied that it is through the Internet that people are educated about what happens on the other side of their own share of the globe.
Yes, the world became smaller and the nations became close neighbors. The Internet even surpassed what televisions could provide through actual-time-video-streaming. What happens within other countries could easily be observed by other through the connection that they have. With the Interface culture, anything is possible. Working, studying, researching and other things could already be done anywhere using a computer and the connection that the Internet provides.
With the existence of the cyber world, anything becomes possible and everything becomes easy within reach by anybody who is wired to the Interface Culture.
III.The Main Theme and Idea
The Internet is the doorway to interface culture (Johnson, 5). This is the most significant claim that Johnson particularly send to the readers through his book. It is through the wired culture that the society is connected to one another giving them the chance to understand people form all over the world and thus gain a wider perspective of why things happen.
It also opens up the mind of the people to the possibility of gaining peace through the wired connection that they have. Although discrimination and things a like has not been removed, it could be observed that cross-cultural relationships has been constantly developing ever since the Internet has been introduced.
However, along with the great provisions that the Internet provides the society, it could be noted that there too are those disadvantages that it brings the world. As it could be noted, it is not only the positive things that are presented through the Internet, there also exists several fraud and chaotic reports that are presented through cyberspace. However, it is upon the users’ discretion on which kind of reported occurrences he should believe and thus be affected by such. It still remains true that the actual development in the society still lies within the people’s decisions and not through the technological breakthroughs that the Internet makes accessible to the society.
IV. The Book’s Relation to Reality
Without any doubt, the book of Johnson clearly gives an actual view of the present society as to how it is directly affected by the development of technology. Certainly, because of the fact that everything in the present society of man is affected by technology and the existence of Internet, it is thus helpful that the realities behind the existence of the said invention is directly presented to readers.
As for the author of this paper, the important impact that it brings is simply the fact that the book covers much of the present situation of mankind as directly related to the cyberspace involvement. The said development has been causing several changes that impacts people’s lives as common individuals. The strong effect that computers along with internet-based communication provide has mainly re-shifted the views of the entire society from traditional to a completely modern perspective of life and living as well.
V. Evaluation and Critique
As an overall reaction upon the work done by Johnson in his book, it could be observed that his researches proved to be much helpful in helping the readers realize the impact of Interface Culture in their lives.
Some may have used the Internet for several years now and yet not realize the fact that they are already a member of an existing society that are wired through the cyberspace. The international connection that the current communication technology provides has been clearly one of the focuses of the book, which helps the readers understand the clear effect of technology in their lives.
Johnson has clearly defined what Interface Culture is and has mainly identified the need of everyone to both understand and be cautious to what the Internet, or cyber connection gives them access to. Basically, his enthusiasm and his knowledge on the background of the topic that the book discusses has made the book a must-read and a source of informative passages that would be greatly helpful for one to understand the importance of the emergence of technology and its interconnection with communication developments.
The present society is living in a “wired-community” of the cyber world. With a closer look on the idealisms that Johnson portrays in his book, people would realize that indeed, the Internet and computer-technology have been able to take over the most important developments in the human society.
The economy, the individual development through education and thing alike has been made available to everyone through the Internet. This is the reason why interface culture has been regarded as the modern way of living. Yes, there are still a lot more to expect in the future, and there is nothing the society could do, but to be prepared on the changes that may happen in the future.
Steven Johnson. (October 6, 1999). Interface Culture : How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate. Perseus Books Group; Rep Sub edition. ISBN-10: 0465036805.
W.Colston Leigh Inc. (2007). Steven Berlin Johnson Biography. http://leighbureau.com/speaker.asp?id=327. (April 3, 2007).