Atoms v. Bits in the Post-Information Age
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Negroponte lays a foundation for his book by explaining the difference between atoms (physical, tangible products), and bits (electronic, conceptual, intangible information). He explains the impact of a shift in world exchange from atoms to bits in which "the information superhighway is about global movement of weightless bits at the speed of light." Much the same way that Alvin Toffler (The Third Wave ) explains how society has left the industrial age to move into an information age, Negroponte further explores the shift from an information age to what he calls a post-information age, created by the packaging of information in bits instead of atoms.

Negroponte projects a post-information age in which bits are so easily created, recreated, and delivered to individuals who want or need them that dissemination of information will focus on the power of the user rather than that of publishers and marketers. He predicts that in the digital world, the media will no longer create (or dictate) value in a product, but the product (information) will create its own market by way of its intrinsic worth.

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