Thursday, October 11, 2007

Radio, Wireless, & the Internet -- A Transformative Technology

Fellow blogger Susan Crawford has another excellent post to her blog which I would strongly encourage folks to read for a bit of historical yet very timely deja vu....

Here's an excerpt to get you headed over there:

Transformative Technology

"Another technology was said to overcome key barriers between the voter and the candidate: the barriers of distance, of time, of inertia, and of crowd psychology. It brought to the physically remote voter a type of first-hand information he had never had before.

There was great excitement. Would this new technology prick into quicker, more coherent action our unwieldy democratic giant? Or with its shining novelty would its seeming power too be gone? What were the inherent political potentialities of this new technology? Aside from the immense publicity value which its newness gave it, what could it actually effect in a presidential election?

The new technology was remarkable. It had found a way to dispense with political middlemen. In a fashion it had restored the demos upon which republican government is founded. No candidate would be able to stand up to it who was unprepared to enlighten the electorate. It potentially gave to every member of the electorate the possibility of a direct reaction to the candidates themselves. It reproduced to some degree, for the first time in the United States, the conditions of the Athenian democracy where every voter, for himself, could hear and judge the candidates.

The year was 1924: “…America finds herself this year in the act of virtually choosing her chief executive by an instrument that was up to a brief two years ago generally considered a freakish fad.”

You'll have to visit her site for the balance of her post, but, she's absolutely correct - radio or RF (now commonly labeled "wireless") and Internet technology has and will continue to transform virtually every aspect of our lives and the world in which we live.

Yet another of the many reasons why spectrum matters.....


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