The Apocalyptic Vision of Philip K. Dick

The past several decades have exhibited vertiginous change, surprising novelties, and upheaval in an era marked by technological revolution and the global restructuring of capitalism.1 This "great transformation," comparable in scope to the shifts produced by the Industrial Revolution, is moving the world into a postindustrial, infotainment, and biotech mode of global capitalism, organized around new information, communications, and genetic technologies. The scientific-technological-economic revolutions of the era and spread of the global economy are providing new financial opportunities, openings for political amelioration, and a wealth of ingenious products and technologies that might improve the human condition. Yet these developments are accompanied by explosive conflict, crisis, and even catastrophe. The post-September 11 world reveals the contradictory dialectic of globalization in which the wide-reaching circulation of people, technology, media, and ideologies can have destructive as well as beneficial consequences. Hence, the turbulent transmutations of the contemporary situation are highly contradictory and ambiguous, with both hopeful and threatening features being played out on political, economic, social, and cultural fronts.
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