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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.
|2||The First Digital Medium: The alphabet and the rise of monotheism||11|
|3||The Printed Authorship of the Modern World||21|
|4||The Age of Photography and the Ageless Image||37|
|5||Telegraphy: The suspect messenger||49|
|6||Telephone: The toy that roared||59|
|7||Electricity: The book's best friend||69|
|8||Radio: All together now||78|
|9||Survival of the Media Fit: Radio, motion pictures, and TV in human ecological niches||91|
|10||Remedial Media: Views via VCR and window||104|
|11||Word Processing and Its Masters||115|
|12||The Online Author as Publisher and Bookstore||125|
|13||Hypertext and Author/Reader Inversions||136|
|14||The Open Web and Its Enemies||148|
|17||Electronic Watermarks: A high profile for intellectual property in the digital age||187|
|18||Artificial Intelligence in Real Life||205|
|19||You Can't Touch That in Cyberspace||222|