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Editorial - Telecommunication and Globalization in the Nineteenth Century

Wenzlhuemer, Roland

In: Wenzlhuemer, Roland (Hrsg.): Global Communication. Telecommunication and Global Flows of Information in the Late 19th and Early 20th Century. Special Issue of Historical Social Research. Center for Historical Social Research, Köln 2010, pp. 7-18

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Abstract

Telecommunication systems dematerialize the information that they transmit and, thereby, detach the flow of information from the movement of material carriers such as people or goods. The immediate effect of such a dematerialization is a substantial gain in transmission speed, which has often been styled as the principal characteristic of telecommunication. Of far greater significance – at least from an analytical perspective – is, however, the relative gain in information transmission speed as against the speed of movement of people or goods. Flows of dematerialized information work along a completely new logic. It is one essential constituent of this logic that wherever telecommunication networks reach information outpaces material transport and can, therefore, be used to efficiently coordinate, control and command such material movement. The telegraph as the first fully-fledged telecommunication system pioneered this qualitative change and introduced a new rationale to global communication – and, therefore, ultimately to globalization processes of the nineteenth century.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Wenzlhuemer, Roland
Title of Book: Global Communication. Telecommunication and Global Flows of Information in the Late 19th and Early 20th Century. Special Issue of Historical Social Research
Publisher: Center for Historical Social Research
Place of Publication: Köln
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2015 12:59
Date: 2010
Page Range: pp. 7-18
Faculties / Institutes: Philosophische Fakultät > Historisches Seminar
Subjects: 900 Geography and history
Controlled Keywords: Telekommunikation, Globalisierung, Geschichte
Uncontrolled Keywords: telecommunication, globalization, dematerialization, telegraph
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