Crystal Ball Gazing
Reflections on the role of information resources in a liberal arts eduction

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The telegraph analogy

Tom Standage's book, The Victorian Internet, examines the impact of the telegraph on personal life, business, and politics during the late 19th century. The telegraph was society's first experience with high-popular instant communication, leading to social changes and forecasts that are remarkably similar to those claimed for today's Internet.

Some popular predictions never came true:

Telegraphy also lead to major cultural changes that parallel today's Interent explosion:


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Copyright 2001, Leo D. Geoffrion