In-class discussion questions for Fang ch 3


1)     pp. 47-48 Describe the positive feedback between society and technology in the development of the printing press.

2)     pp. 48-49 Compare and contrast (e.g. use Venn diagram) the following: xylography, movable type press, stereotyping on paper mat, electrotyping, linotype, letterpress, and offset lithography.

3)     pp. 51-52 what are some of the relationships between changes in printing technology and the invention of “freedom of press?”

4)     pp. 52-56 What are some of the changes that have taken place in the relationship between information gathering and information distribution?

5)     pp. 57-60 Discuss the relationship between women’s labor history and the history of the typewriter.

6)     pp. 60-65 In what ways are changes in advertising related to changes in IT?

7)     pp. 65-69 What physical aspect of postal service makes it different from other communication media such as telegraph, radio, etc.? How has this special characteristic affected it history?

8)     pp. 70-74 In what ways does photography differ from painting? In what ways is it similar? How have these differences shaped the history of photography?

9)     pp. 77-82 What are the historical precidents to the telegraph?  How did its physical attributes shape its history of adoption? How did it change ideas of information in the U.S.?

10)pp. 84-85 How did Bell come to invent the telephone, and what difficulties did he encounter?

11)pp. 86-88 Describe the surprising variety of innovations in telephone use, and their relationship to social changes.

12)pp.  Compare and contrast wireless telegraphy v.s. voice radio, point-to-point v.s. broadcast, and military v.s. civilian use of early radio.

13)pp. 96-98 What enabling technologies had to be present before motion pictures could be invented? How did social values interact with the history of this invention?