Soft Edge by Paul Levinson
Nat Hist&Future Info

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The Soft Edge is a one-of-a-kind history of the information revolution. In his lucid and direct style, Paul Levinson, historian and philosopher of media and communications, gives us more than just a history of information technologies. The Soft Edge is a book about theories on the evolution of technology, the effects that human choice has on this (r)evolution, and what's in store for us in the future.

Paul Levinson's engaging voice guides us on a tour that explains how communications media have been responsible for major developments in history and for profound changes in our day-to-day lives. Levinson presents the intriguing argument that technology actually becomes more human. We see how information technologies are selected on the basis of how well they meet human needs. Why is email more like speech than print is? Why didn't the arrival of television destroy the radio? These and many more thought provoking questions are answered in The Soft Edge.

Boldly extending and deepening the pathways blazed by McLuhan, Paul Levinson has provided us with a brilliant and exciting study of life with our old media, our new media, and the media still to come.


About Paul Levinson

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Paul Levinson's eight nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), and Cellphone (2004), have been the subject of major articles in the New York Times, Wired, the Christian Science Monitor, and have been translated into ten languages. New New Media will be published in the summer of 2009. His science fiction novels include The Silk Code (1999, winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel)., Borrowed Tides (2001), The Consciousness Plague (2002), The Pixel Eye (2003), and The Plot To Save Socrates (2006). His short stories have been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, Edgar, and Sturgeon Awards. Paul Levinson appears on "The O'Reilly Factor" (Fox News), "The CBS Evening News," "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" (PBS), "Nightline" (ABC), and numerous national and international TV and radio programs. He reviews the best of television in his blog, and was listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s "Top 10 Academic Twitterers" in 2009. Paul Levinson is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City.
Published August 8, 2005 by Routledge. 278 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Computers & Technology, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Law & Philosophy, Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife. Non-fiction

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The implications that Levinson derives from the first part of his study, stressing the ways in which new media have always had a profound impact on human society, are often thought-provoking though sometimes unconvincing.

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