Book Review

Bob Stratton
Sun, 14 Feb 1999 12:05:04 -0500

At 10:26 AM 1999-02-14 -0600, Randy Mays wrote: 
> I am reading, and want to recommend, an excellent book titled The Victorian
> Internet by Tom Standage.  As the cover notes, this is "the remarkable story
> of the telegraph and the nineteenth century's on-line pioneers."  Tom
> Standage is the science writer for "The Economist" (attention Hal:  this is a
> British magazine). 
> What has stuck me so far about this book is the number of parallels between
> what happened in the first days of the telegraph (which was not electric, by
> the way) and what is happening today, both in the commercial world and in ham
> radio.  One example:  the French came up with some very innovative optical
> telegraphs (line of sight, different patterns to form characters,etc.). 
> Because they were so good at this, and because they had built such a large
> infrastructure, when the electric telegraph came along, they were slow to
> catch up. 

 From a brief exposure to this book, I also noticed another parallel that's
particularly timely. Apparently it also comments on the previous concerns about
misuse of the new medium (telegraphy) by bad guys, and the suggested
restrictions on encryption technology in support of law enforcement efforts. 

Plus ca change, plus c'est le meme m*rd*.

--Bob, KE4GDC