Abuse, abject stupidity.
Brilliant description of how technology and the human mind combine to bring human kind leaping into the future. A history of brilliance, blind stupidity and government control. The history line is brilliant and I am grateful for the book.
Phone call to my lover.
This is the kind of book that will change the minds and hearts of thinking freedom loving people. If we know who the enemy is, there is a chance to win.
Eastman Kodak declared bankruptcy last week and this week announced they will no long manufacturer digital cameras.
The story of hard work and success, blind ambition, blind stupid ambition, failure to see
This book presents a comprehensive history and analysis of the modern US communications market, from the invention of the telephone, to the internet today. Over and over a monopoly is born, new technology rises and attempts to overthrow it, but often fails, but the monopoly eventually collapses, letting the new kids take over. The role of government in sustaining these monopolies and quashing competition is particularly illuminating, especially considering the free-market ethos so central to US thinking. It's all very interesting, and I feel I learned a lot from it.
Two caveats, though: the narration is merely adequate, and sometimes feels wooden and forced. It didn't seriously bother me, but a better performance would have helped. Second, and this is important to remember, Wu discuss the US market, almost to the exclusion of the rest of the world. When foreign lands do appear, it's usually only because they relate directly to the US market at that point (like a source of imported films in the early 20th century). That's not too bad, as the US was definitely the source of developments in the communications market, but just be aware of this limitation.
All in all, I enjoyed it, and can recommend it if you want to learn more about this field.
This book contains some of the most interesting history about the technology of communication. From the telegraph to the internet, we, as a Democratic society, have strangled and then opened up these technologies to benefit the world.
This book gave me a lot to think about. It give a look into monopolies and how they are formed. How the government can play a role into breaking them up or let them continue business as usual.
A very interesting historical overview of the development of several monopolies in telecommunication (radio/film/telephone/TV/cable) and the interface between state/coorporations/tax slaves. A pity that the conclusions are inconsistent with the history described and misses the main point. Monopolies are maintained by government regulation and courts protecting the monopolist against competition. In stead of pleading for an abolishment of this initiation of force by the state to prevent monopolies, he pleads for more regulation by government to prevent monopolies, although he recognizes the "who regulates the regulators" problem (after the Bell monopoly was put together again as AT&T by many political donations and subsequent legal attacks on competition and AT&T was found eves dropping on the tax cattle for the government as thanks for their regained monopoly). Why ask people who hold a territorial monopoly of force/justice/taxation/money creation to prevent monopolies in your society? It is insane in my view. Why not the obvious conclusion: If you want no monopolies:Don't approve of their protection by government who initiates force against competition?
Detailed historical account that's exciting...it reads like a novel; yet, you get an intellectual workout. It's builds an interesting case for how companies eventually deal with changing access to information.
As a history of the development of telephony, radio, film, televsion, and the information age, this book is terribly interesting. It brings alive the periods and the people that brought us to the present point. It contains interesting trivia without getting bogged down in detail.
As economics, however, it falls flat. I will limit myself to three examples. First, the author feels that these industries would have remained fragmented and creative, if not for the rethlessness of certain men. But every industry goes through a period of consolidation, including cars, airlines, and mobile phones.
Second, he constantly bemoans that radio went to an advertising-based model, but does not really present an alternative. Even European governments that supported broadcast media with taxes have now gone to an advertsing model. Where is the alternative?
Finally, he makes a fundamental mistake by viewing Google as a search engine company committed to openness. Google is an advertising company that uses search ond other tools to sell advertising. This mis-understanding of Google's business colors everything that the author writes about the future of the internet.
I never knew (but honestly not surprised) by all the events discussed in the book. This book takes you beyond the history books into what really happened as our culture entered the information age.
I'm Stephen, Rebecca's husband.
One of the best.
The repetition of the histories of communications in America was much more important than any one character. I was astounded by what I did not know about the behind-the-scenes struggles, plots, people, impact and consequences related to each of the great media that so radically affected America.
The most extreme reaction came from learning how ignorant I was of many of the things I have lived through.
Surely most readers of this book will be astounded, as I was, about the importance of each of the media revolutions experienced by America. The book also alerts us to the importance of correctly handling each of the great media. Read the book; you will be moved and informed.
The information contained in this book is wonderful and enlightening. I learned a lot about the history of the telephone, movies, radio and the Internet.
I am keeping this review really short to contrast how terribly long and drawn out this book is. I would estimate that half of the words in the book are unnecessary and do nothing but make the book longer and harder to read. I found it very boring and frustrating because of this. But the information you walk away with if you make it through the book is really great stuff.