Monday, February 26, 2007

A Path for the Telegraph

According to Paul Starr, The Creation of the Media "The use of an instrument so powerful for good or evil cannot with safety to the people be left in the hands of private individuals uncontrolled by law" (Postmaster General Cave Johnson pg. 163)

My opinion about the quote from the postmaster general is that we can't allow any instruments to be controlled by the wealthy class. He is also talking about how there isn't any law that restricts the control of instruments by private individuals. What this quote means is that there should be laws that protects inventions from private individuals. He is also saying that any invention should be shared with everyone and it shouldn't be only for private individuals.


At 10:51 AM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good quote and an interesting post.

There was debate over whether the telegraph should be owned by the state, just like the post office. This was the system adopted by many European countries.

Our nation chose another path. The telegraph remained a private enterprise. This is an example of what Starr calls a "constitutive choice." One path is chosen and another not taken. What were the consequences of leaving the telegraph system in private hands? What were the negative and the positive outcomes of this path?


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