This book analyzes a new phenomenon in civilization: the transformation of the current “Information Wave” into virtual civilization. In the 21st century, the “real-space” of the world civilization, due to the massive, network-intensive use of computers world-wide, gained the virtual space known as cyberspace. Cyberspace is a product of information technology exemplified by the Internet as the world system of information highway(s) [INFOSTRADA(S)] which forms a digital space containing all sorts of files and communication exchanges practiced in online and real-time modes.
For the first time in 6,000 years of human civilization, society has become a quantum society, which can be real and virtual at the same time. The virtual society is invisible for those who do not use computer networks. Even for those who do use them, cyberspace access requires some sort of commercial transactions-oriented activities (ex. on Amazon or eBay and others), searching on Google or Yahoo or communicating as a member of one of social networks, e.g.. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others.
This book recognizes the development of the Earth’s space in the following scopes of mixed reality (MR): Real Environment (RE), Augmented Reality (AR), Augmented Virtuality (AV), and Virtual environment (VE). This book evaluates the phenomenon of virtuality: Is this a temporary technological phantom or is it going to stay forever? Is it a new technological wave of civilization or is it a new civilization itself? Since this editor argues it is a new civilization, a characterization of virtual society will be given. Also, if this is a new civilization, what is its religion (since every civilization is characterized by a religion)? In addition, its culture will be analyzed. As a new civilization, virtual society will promote certain ways of practicing daily life. These new ways will be characterized and evaluated as a new kind of societal divide. Some trends of the virtual technology will be evaluated as well. Is virtuality a positive tool which will enhance the quality of our lives, or will it provide stronger inequality among skillful and unskillful users? So far the digital divide worsened peoples’ well-being at the lowest social strata. Can virtuality improve these people’s well-being or will it worsen it? What is the future of virtuality? As a new landscape of civilization its development will be predicted within the framework of several possible futures of real civilization which can be perceived today.
This kind of prediction involving the architecture and development of cyberspace and real-space in the context of contemporary civilizations such as African, Chinese, Japanese, Hindu, Buddhist, Western, Eastern, Islamic, and Global will be evaluated in this book. It will also be discussed how we develop and behave in the Virtual Civilization which perhaps will define our civilization’s success in the 21st century. Will this civilization enhance the real civilization or will it leave many of us behind in a divided environment created by the rise of virtuality? (Imprint: Novinka)