Lessons From the Past

The jargon that permeates the writing on the new media -- "Information Superhighway," "Computer Revolution," "Digital Revolution," "Cyberspace" (or "Cyber"-anything), would have the world believing that this is the first time a new technology has come along and fundamentally changed the mass media. It isn't. The technology of the printing press, telegraph, telephone, radio, television and computer all altered the way people communicate, sometimes radically, sometimes disappointingly. If there is a lesson from the past, it is that predictions about the effect of new technology usually turn out to be wrong.

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