TQM & LOs LO11390

Thu, 12 Dec 96 08:07:19 EST

Replying to LO11355 --

Responding to an earlier comment on the Internet media,
Robert Bacal asked:

>Could you explain how this might be different than that same child
>(or one from an earlier era) going to the library, finding the books,
>etc, or obtaining a video on cobras?

>Gutenberg made the first mass medium possible. That was a quantum
>leap in how information could be disseminated, and accessibility.
>Since we already have other mass media, how is this particular
>technology different in some qualitative sense? In my opinion a
>"revolution" requires a bit more than simply making the same thing
>available in a different format.

I recently read a similar question in an interview with the
historian/futurist James Burke. Burke is best known for his "Connections"
television series. The interview appeared in the December, 1996 edition
of Internet World, starting on page 76. A quote:

INTERNET WORLD: How does the World Wide Web compare to other electronics
media that evolved over the last 100 years?

JAMES BURKE: Well, first of all, every other medium has been to some
extent exclusive, whether deliberately used by a central authority - like
state radio and television - or used as a centralizing medium of
organization - like the telegraph or the mails - or used as a means of
control - like, in some countries, the telephone. During the Communist
period, for example, there was not publicly available telephone book in
Moscow, or indeed in Russia. Unlike all of those, the Web is a
diversifying rather than centralizing force; it is fundamentally a
democratic information infrastructure. It's pretty much uncontrollable.

*** end of quote ***

Burke goes on to suggest that although the net is uncontrollable, that it
won't necessarily be the end of tyrannical governments. He also has some
intriguing comments on publishing, political correctness, and television.


Brad L. Myers, CQA bmyers@gelman.com Gelman Sciences Ann Arbor, Michigan

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>