TECHNOLOGIES OF FREEDOM

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Harvard University Press, 1983 - Political Science - 299 pages
2 Reviews
Today, a communications revolution is afoot, in which print is being rapidly displaced by cables, computers, videodisks, and satellites. In a masterly synthesis of history, law, and technology, Ithiel de Sola Pool lays bare the elements of this problem and suggests measures to ensure the preservation of freedom. This is a timely book of overwhelming social importance.
  

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User Review  - keylawk - LibraryThing

Pool examines the impact of communications technology on civil rights and the rights protected by the First Amendment. He argues that restrictive government regulation is not inevitable. Briefs many court cases, and supplies a detailed Index. Read full review

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This technological tour de force is simply breathtaking in its polemical power and predictive capabilities. Reading this book more than 20 years after it was published, one comes to believe that Pool must have possessed a crystal ball or had a Nostradamus-like ability to foresee the future.
For example, long before anyone else had envisioned what we now refer to as "cyberspace," Pool was describing it in this book. "Networked computers will be the printing presses of the twenty-first century," he argued in his remarkably prescient chapter on electronic publishing. "Soon most published information will disseminated electronically." Few probably believed him in 1983, but no one doubts him now. Meanwhile, he did all this while also providing a passionate defense of technological freedom and freedom of speech in the electronic age. If you care about those things, read this book. It is a masterpiece.
 

Contents

A Shadow Darkens i
1
Printing and the Evolution of a Free Press
11
Electronics Takes Command
23
The First Amendment and Print Media
55
Carriers and the First Amendment
75
Broadcasting and the First Amendment
108
Cable Television and the End of Scarcity
151
Electronic Publishing
189
Policies for Freedom
226
Notes
253
Index
293
Copyright

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