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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Blogosphere: Communication is the natural right of mankind



Blogosphere Context and Comparison, an Occasional Series:

As we all know, we are working in a state of flux, as the coalescence, friction, or collision of traditional and new media and their respective practices reshape our concepts of journalism, freedom of expression, and intellectual property. This is not the first time this has happened in history.

As I indicated at the launching of this blog, many of the critiques of the blogosphere had their antecedents in or could have been taken from earlier centuries, when the periodical press and democratization of reading and writing came into their own.

This rubric of the blog will, to begin with, simply offer short historical passages on these topics. May they add to our sense of perspective, and if possible, further discussion. Sometimes that is enough.

Herewith the first installment, chosen more or less at random:
Communication [is] the natural right of mankind [and] the suppressing of either of these is 'taking away the Children's Bread.' It pleased God in his own time to have dictated to Man the invention of printing. . . [and] though several errors have and will be vented by the occasion of this invention, this is no more an argument against the invention itself than the growing of tares among wheat is an argument against the growing of corn.
--John Asgill, 1712

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