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October 2000 Issue
The Geographical Review
October 2000, Vol. 90 (4), pp. 636-645
TRACKING THE CYBERSPACE ELEPHANT
SUSAN M. POMEROY
CITY OF BITS: Space, Place, and the Infobahn. By William J. Mitchell. 225 pp.;
maps, diagrs., ills., bibliog., index. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, $15.95
(paper), ISBN 0262631768.
Cyberspace has been variously viewed as a technological artifact, a linguistic feat, a graphical fun house, a commercial gold mine, a boys' club, a girls' club, an architectural edifice, a frontier, a highway, a space of flows through which capital and information are shunted in ever-greater quantities, at ever faster speeds. Cyberspace has been said to offer a parallel world, an analog world, a new world, a virgin territory. In short, it is supposed to be many things to many people. Through the varied mythologies of cyberspace are to be found new lands for geographers, a fresh start for architects and planners, an alternative medium for cultural critics, a new site of resistance and repression, a spacious arena for play and transgression. At this historical moment it is tempting, however, to suspect that scholars who look at cyberspace are most like the blind men and the elephant.