100 years of technophobia


Ars Technica has an awesome piece detailing 100 years worth of “Big Content’s” reaction to emerging media technologies (in its own words). Here’s John Philip Sousa, writing in Appleton’s Magazine, on “The Menace of Mechanical Music” (aka the gramophone):

“From the days when the mathematical and mechanical were paramount in music, the struggle has been bitter and incessant for the sway of the emotional and the soulful,” he wrote. “And now in this the twentieth century come these talking and playing machines and offer again to reduce the expression of music to a mathematical system of megaphones, wheels, cogs, disks, cylinders, and all manner of revolving things which are as like real art as the marble statue of Eve is like her beautiful living breathing daughters.”

Also beware the copy machine, the VCR, cassette recorders, MP3, the DVR… for that way lies the ruin of the marketplace. Or not.

100 years of Big Content fearing technology–in its own words [via Tim O’Reilly’s Twitter feed]


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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