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When Old Technologies Were New
By Carolyn Marvin
9/10 from 1 review
Categories: Science & Technology, Computers & Internet
Buy at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com
1 review
The theoretical equivalent of a really good telescope...
Reading this book is the best antidote to the hype, hucksterism, bad futurology and other 'visionary' rhetoric that inevitably appear around new technologies. Marvin's brilliantly researched primary sources illustrate Victorian fantasies about early electrical technologies, and leaves it up to the reader to draw comparisons with the breathless contemporary rhetoric of Wired at al.

But best of all, this book doesn't pour cold water on the impact of new technologies at all, but actually shows how their *real* effects on society are more profound, if a little harder to discern, than the 'big picture' fantasies found in contemporary media. The best recommendation is that you could easily imagine someone writing this book again in a hundred years time about the last 10 years, and it would still be a revelation.
Rating: 9/10
Link to this review
Posted by Matt Locke on Thu, 19th July 2001, 4:47pm
1 review