The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution

The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution

by Paul Levinson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0415157854

ISBN-13: 9780415157858

Pub. Date: 09/28/1997

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

The Soft Edge is a one-of-a-kind history of the information revolution. In his lucid and direct style, Paul Levinson, historian and philosopher of media and communications, gives us more than just a history of information technologies. The Soft Edge is a book about theories on the evolution of technology, the effects that human choice has on this

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Overview

The Soft Edge is a one-of-a-kind history of the information revolution. In his lucid and direct style, Paul Levinson, historian and philosopher of media and communications, gives us more than just a history of information technologies. The Soft Edge is a book about theories on the evolution of technology, the effects that human choice has on this (r)evolution, and what's in store for us in the future.

Paul Levinson's engaging voice guides us on a tour that explains how communications media have been responsible for major developments in history and for profound changes in our day-to-day lives. Levinson presents the intriguing argument that technology actually becomes more human. We see how information technologies are selected on the basis of how well they meet human needs. Why is email more like speech than print is? Why didn't the arrival of television destroy the radio? These and many more thought provoking questions are answered in The Soft Edge.

Boldly extending and deepening the pathways blazed by McLuhan, Paul Levinson has provided us with a brilliant and exciting study of life with our old media, our new media, and the media still to come.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415157858
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
09/28/1997
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1Introduction1
2The First Digital Medium: The alphabet and the rise of monotheism11
3The Printed Authorship of the Modern World21
4The Age of Photography and the Ageless Image37
5Telegraphy: The suspect messenger49
6Telephone: The toy that roared59
7Electricity: The book's best friend69
8Radio: All together now78
9Survival of the Media Fit: Radio, motion pictures, and TV in human ecological niches91
10Remedial Media: Views via VCR and window104
11Word Processing and Its Masters115
12The Online Author as Publisher and Bookstore125
13Hypertext and Author/Reader Inversions136
14The Open Web and Its Enemies148
15Twentieth-Century Screens162
16Paper Futures174
17Electronic Watermarks: A high profile for intellectual property in the digital age187
18Artificial Intelligence in Real Life205
19You Can't Touch That in Cyberspace222
Bibliography233
Index243

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