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All-Purpose Media

Until the Net arrived, the history of media had been a tale of fragmentation. Different technologies progressed down different paths, leading to a proliferation of special-purpose tools. Books and newspapers could present text and images, but they couldn’t handle sounds or moving pictures. Visual media like cinema and TV were unsuited to display text, except in the smallest of quantities. Radios, telephones, phonographs and tape players were limited to transmitting sounds…Once information is digitized, the boundaries between media dissolve. We replace our special-purpose tools with an all-purpose tool.
Nicholas Carr

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