Media Technology and Society: A History From the Printing Press to the Superhighway / Edition 1

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Challenging the popular myth of a present-day 'information revolution', Media Technology and Society is essential reading for anyone interested in the social impact of technological change. Winston argues that the development of new media forms, from the telegraph and the telephone to computers, satellite and virtual reality, is the product of a constant play-off between social necessity and suppression: the unwritten law by which new technologies are introduced into society only insofar as their disruptive potential is limited.

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Editorial Reviews

Offers a comprehensive account of the history of communications technologies, from the point of view that the development of new media is the product of a constant play-off between social necessity and suppression. Challenges the concept of a revolution on communications technology by highlighting the long histories of developments such as the fax (introduced in 1847) and the idea of television (patented in 1884). Examines why some prototypes are abandoned and why many inventions are created simultaneously by independent inventors, and shows how new industries develop around inventions. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415142304
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 5/29/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
Introduction: A storm from paradise - technological innovation, diffusion and suppression 1
Pt. I Propagating sound at considerable distances
1 The telegraph 19
2 Before the speaking telephone 30
3 The capture of sound 51
Pt. II The vital spark and fugitive pictures
4 Wireless and radio 67
5 Mechanically scanned television 88
6 Electronically scanned television 100
7 Television spin-offs and redundancies 126
Pt. III Inventions for casting up sums very pretty
8 Mechanising calculation 147
9 The first computers 166
10 Suppressing the main frames 189
11 The integrated circuit 206
12 The coming of the microcomputer 227
Pt. IV The intricate web of trails, this grand system
13 The beginnings of networks 243
14 Networks and recording technologies 261
15 Communications satellites 276
16 The satellite era 295
17 Cable television 305
18 The Internet 321
Conclusion: The pile of debris - from the Boulevard des Capucins to the Leningradsky Prospect 337
Notes 343
References 351
Index 361
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