Human nature is the constant over historical time. The correlated shifts in society and in media can best be understood as the human capacity to respond to challenges (this is the upside of the human tendency described above to continue with the same response despite changing circumstances). Life is lived forward but understood backward. Now that we are moving into an information society, we can see that the important theme in human history is the co-evolution of the person and media as extensions. Traditional history - the story of conflict told by the winners - is simply a footnote of case studies of failures of communication.

     When H. G. Wells described history as a "race between education and catastrophe", he didn't mention that it's a relay race. In this book, Thierry Bardini does an excellent job of describing how Douglas Engelbart and his colleagues ran their lap and how they can best pass on the baton without fumbling. The author is obviously in the "education" team but he does point out that the race may best be described as between the positive and negative aspects of human nature which we all share.

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