[NetBehaviour] Don't Touch That Dial!A history of media technology scares, from the printing press to Facebook.

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Wed Feb 17 11:18:10 CET 2010


Don't Touch That Dial!A history of media technology scares, from the 
printing press to Facebook.

By Vaughan Bell

A respected Swiss scientist, Conrad Gessner, might have been the first 
to raise the alarm about the effects of information overload. In a 
landmark book, he described how the modern world overwhelmed people with 
data and that this overabundance was both "confusing and harmful" to the 
mind. The media now echo his concerns with reports on the unprecedented 
risks of living in an "always on" digital environment. It's worth noting 
that Gessner, for his part, never once used e-mail and was completely 
ignorant about computers. That's not because he was a technophobe but 
because he died in 1565. His warnings referred to the seemingly 
unmanageable flood of information unleashed by the printing press.

more...
http://www.slate.com/id/2244198/pagenum/all/




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