Tools of Their Tools
The book explores the role of communication technologies in American cultural practice over the last 150 years. Communication technologies are here understood to include audio and visual reproduction technologies, analogue telecommunications such as traditional telephony, radio and television broadcasts, digital telecommunications, computer-mediated communications, telegraphy, and computer networks. The study of the impact of such technologies is a way to explore the various flows and tensions of American culture. How has American society molded communication technologies? How have they, in turn, shaped American history? Are Americans still, in the words of Thoreau, ",tools of their tools",? More so or less than during the philosopher's Walden days? How do America's cultural, ethical, and economic assumptions determine and limit the ways in which telecommunications function in American society? Fascinating questions abound.
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