Monday, January 19, 2015

Book 2 (My Opinion, Your Self Is My Self) - Chapter 3, Part 1

Free will, free choice, freedom. The ability to make your own decisions. The ability to make your own mistakes. The ability to choose not to listen to advice. The ability to have your own opinions while everyone else has theirs. Not having your life forcibly tied to anyone or anything else. To be sovereign. To be the master of your domain, and to accept that others are the masters of theirs. Everyone keeping their opinions to themselves when they disagree with another's choices that do not affect them. Doing because you want to, not because you have to. To follow others because you believe their way is better than the one you have found. To have others follow you because they believe your way is better.

At first when personal communications were limited, people needed to be selective in what they chose to “transmit”. Letters had limited space, and a long transit time, necessitating certain limitations on what could be said. Then the telegraph evolved and became available. Speed increased dramatically, but cost was prohibitive and as such, people had to pick and choose their words very carefully. Again limiting what could be said. In time, the telegraph was replaced by the telephone. At first, cost was prohibitive and the telephone was available only to a small number of people. But over time it became available in every household, limited only by cost. As the telephone was supplemented and then replaced by cellular phones and their unlimited usage, there was no longer a limit on what a person could communicate. The only limit that remained on inter-personal communications was the time someone had to listen.

At the same time as the telegraph, there was the beginning of mass media; newspapers, information for the many. In time mass media became just that, available to the masses. The early newspapers were limited by the printing equipment. Additionally, limitations in the development of transportation, limited the distribution. As technology advanced, newspapers began reaching a wider audience, the only limitation being cost. People had to pay for them. As technology progressed further there came the radio and then the television. Mass communications could now reach a very wide audience. The only limitation was that the information was presented by the few, and access to broadcast was not available to the public for various reasons. There was a division of mass media communications and inter-personal communications. What individuals wanted to communicate had a limited audience, and individuals had no input into what was being presented by mass media.

To be continued...

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