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How are new media born? How do they change? And how do they change us? Media Technology and Society offers a comprehensive account of the history of communications technologies, from the printing press to the internet. Winston argues that the development of new media forms, from the telegraph and the telephone to computers, satellite and virtual reality, is the product of a constant play-off between social necessity and suppression: the unwritten law by which new technologies are introduced into society only insofar as their disruptive potential is limited. Winston's fascinating account examines the role played by individuals such as Alexander Graham Bell, Gugliemo Marconi, and John Logie Baird and Boris Rozing, in the devlopment of the telephone, radio and television, and Charles babbage, whose design for a 'universal analytic engine' was a forerunner of the modern computer. He examines why some prototypes are abandoned, and why many 'inventions' are created simultaneously by innovators unaware of each other's existence, and shows how new industries develop around these inventions, providing media products to a mass audience.
Challenging the popular myth of a present-day'information revolution' Media Technology and Society is essential reading for anyone interested in the social impact of technological change.