As they develop, all media begin by subverting the established order. The Reformation could not have been so disruptive, particularly for the church, without the print revolution which preceded it and partly caused it. In a more recent era, the transistor radio enabled De Gaulle to win in Algeria by circumventing his mutinous generals and broadcasting direct to servicemen in the front-line. Television, which in a famous phrase brought the Vietnam War into people’s living rooms, thereby helped end that conflict. Now we have social media to thank for exposing official obfuscation but also channeling videos of jihadist outrages. What new form of communication is waiting in the wings to subvert our present paradigms?
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