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Posts Tagged ‘Buchanan

“We expect more from technology and less from each other”*…

 

Replace these “wireless telegraphs” with smartphones, update the dress a little, and this vision from a 1906 issue of Punch magazine could easily be for 110 years in the future. Part of a series of “forecasts” for the year to come, the caption reads: “These two figures are not communicating with one another. The lady receives an amatory message, and the gentleman some racing results.” It’s a reminder that the idea of technology leading to a breakdown in “authentic” human interaction is a worry not solely limited to our age.

Punch seemed to have a knack for uncanny predictions of distant technologies to come. See for example this vision of the Skype-like “Telephonoscope” from 1879…

A Vision of Isolating Technology from 1906,” from Public Domain Review.  (The original is housed at the Internet Archive, from the University of Toronto Libraries.)

* Sherry Turkle, Alone Together

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As we pull on the thread, we might recall that it was on this date in 1858 that Queen Victoria sent the first official telegraph message across the Atlantic Ocean from London to the U.S. (Test messages had been exchanged for the prior 10 days).  Her message to President Buchanan, in Washington D.C., began transmission at 10:50am and was completed at 4:30am the next day, taking nearly 18-hrs to reach Newfoundland. With 99 words, consisting of 509 letters, it averaged about 2-min per letter.  The message was forwarded across Newfoundland by an overhead wire supported on poles; across Cabot Strait by submarine cable to Aspy Bay (Dingwall), Cape Breton; then by an overhead wire across eastern Canada and Maine, via Boston to New York.

This earliest Transatlantic Cable went dead within a month.

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Written by LW

August 16, 2016 at 1:01 am

Teach your children well…

 

“Good day, perverts!”

“A collection of the world’s finest academic writing”:  Thanks, Textbooks.

Both?!?

This tip if not that helpful

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As we leave no child behind, we might recall that it was on this date in 1871 that Dante Gabriel Rossetti responded to the anonymous attack on his work, “The Fleshly School of Poetry,” by publishing “The Stealthy School of Criticism” in Athenaeum (and later, as pictured below, in pamphlet form)…

…Here is a full-grown man, presumably intelligent and cultivated, putting on record for other full-grown men to read, the most secret mysteries of sexual connection, and that with so sickening a desire to reproduce the sensual mood . . . that we merely shudder at the shameless nakedness. We are no purists in such matters . . . but it is neither poetic, nor manly, nor even human, to obtrude such things as themes of whole poems. It is simply nasty.

– from “The Fleshly School of Poetry,” by “Thomas Maitland” (later revealed to be Scottish poet Robert Buchanan)

[The accusation] is not against the poetic value of certain work, but against its primary and (by assumption) its admitted aim. And to this I must reply that so far, assuredly, not even Shakespeare himself could desire more arduous human tragedy for development in Art than belongs to the themes I venture to embody, however incalculably higher might be his power of dealing with them…

Who will then fail to discern all the palpitations which preceded his final resolve in the great question whether to be or not to be his acknowledged self when he became an assailant? And yet this is he who, from behind his mask, ventures to charge another with “bad blood,” with “insincerity,” and the rest of it (and that where poetic fancies are alone in question); while every word on his own tongue is covert rancour, and every stroke from his pen perversion of truth.

– from “The Stealthy School of Criticism”

Cat fight!

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Written by LW

December 16, 2012 at 1:01 am

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