In this passionate and down-to-earth book, Heather Menzies—one of Canada’s leading writers on technology and society —steers us through the jargon of the Information Highway, globalization and the Internet to grasp the moral and political issues at stake in the Brave New World of the new economy. Menzies offers positive suggestions for reviving public debate, and for a democratic renegotiation of the new economy and the Information Highway.
This book could well be subtitled “Economics when people no longer matter.” Whose Brave New World? is a chilling and well-documented account of the Canadian reality of the 1990s, where nothing matters less than people. As newly developed technologies are implemented to change patterns of power and control, both locally and globally, the “Brave New World” becomes a hazardous place for all those who believe in “us, the people,” or dream, as Norbert Wiener had done, of the human use of human beings. Heather Menzies deserves our gratitude for addressing the subject with such compassion and thoroughness. Her book is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the politics, as well as the hype, around the information highway.
– Ursula M. Franklin, Professor Emirata, Massey College, University of Toronto