James La Chase
Internet vs Printing Press
Communication and networking is the pathway to ensured survival. Without either of these individuals are left alone in society to fend for themselves. The odds of their success are far lower than those with friends in high places. The lack of communication leaves our society in disarray and worthlessness. We wouldn’t be a society without some form of communication. The Earth itself is run on a system of communication all the way down into the roots of nature and so with that creates the balance of life. In the history of our race the first major impact and technological advance of communication was born form the printing press. It was a device created by Johannes Gutenberg around 1440. It’s production led to the first assembly line style mass production of books. Books in pre-modern time were the only source of communication and form of education. Now that it could be easily replicated, the wealthy no longer stood among the masses as superiors but now as equals. Now everyone could read, write and understand what is going on around the world. Roughly five hundred years later Tim Berners-Lee creates the Internet. With this the world as we know it is forever changed. The web allowed for the technological expansion of virtually every business on the planet. Not only could anything be sold to anyone at anytime but also now knowledge could be shared with instant access. Now you could ask, “Which had a bigger impact on society, the printing press or the internet?” but that would be stupid. Obviously the Internet wins, no contest. I shall explain nonetheless.
When we look at the question impact is the key word. Which guy did more and how was it better? We are looking for both positive and negatives effects. I think the best thing that come of them was the fact that anyone could gain access to the material they put out. That really is the major factor of both devices. They acted as a gateway to new understandings. However the first big move with the printing press was religious authorities spreading their beliefs through books and converting more people into mindless sheep. I see this as more negative than anything. Religion separated humanity and turned our own species on itself in war. One person with an imaginary friend is crazy but a whole bunch of people with one is religion. Sounds like that could be troublesome. Spreading that around as the “truth” to society isn’t very healthy for everyone’s mental health. Then again some idiot will argue it “Helped saved their life, praise Jesus”. Or you mean to say you found a scapegoat for all your problems and put your responsibilities on an imaginary man in the sky. Good job. Naturally this followed suit on the Internet and has become an even bigger endless argument on a daily basis across the world. The biggest negative impact of the web is that if knowledge can be spread instantly so is violence. Now criminals and governments have the ability to sabotage, spy, and destroy others easier and faster than back in the day. Why shoot the enemy when you can remote detonate their computer and blow them into pieces with the click of a button?
I think that the creation of the printing press allowed the birth of the internet. One couldn’t of existed without one another. They both lead to the evolution of flourished communication on a global scale. Although it is the internet that truly had the bigger impact. It revolutionized communication beyond that of the press. No longer was information limited by human interaction. It can now travel through the air.
Wikipedia contributors. “Printing Press.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 27 Nov 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printing_press>.
Wikipedia contributors. “World Wide Web.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 2 Dec 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Wide_Web>.