Monday, March 05, 2007

Chapter 5

Quote: "The new technologies [the telegraph and the telephone] could expand social connections, increasing the possibilities of association, exchange and diffusion of information, but they also created new means of controlling communication that the state or private monopolists might use for their own purposes" (p. 155)

Comment: Technological innovations such as the railroad, telegraph, and telephone, and the emergence of newspapers and other print media had vastly enhanced the knowledge of political affairs, intensified political discussions among Americans, and enabled the people to inform themselves quickly about new political questions. At the same time, however, the self-serving interests of both the public and private spheres became a high-stakes game in which power and control were the ultimate prize. Unfortunately, this has changed very little in our modern times, as battles to control the mechanisms of the information age continue to rage on.


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