The union of capital and computer science was consummated most visibly in the rapid commercialization…

The union of capital and computer science was consummated most visibly in the rapid commercialization of the World Wide Web, culminating in the meteoric rise and fall of the dotcoms early in the twenty-first century. It was a virtual parody of the boom-and-bust cycle of classic capitalism. Dreams of computer liberation gave way to a frenzied stampede of small technology companies – Microsoft wannabes – onto the information superhighway. All but a very few overextended themselves and went bankrupt. When the dust cleared, the dominance of the new medium by large corporate entities was more pronounced than ever. By 2004, the twenty leading Web sites were owned by AOL Time Warner, Disney, Viacom, Fox Broadcasting, and other media giants: just 14 companies attract 60% of all the time Americans spend online.

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