The rapid acceleration of communications technology is changing our society and economy in profound ways. At this conference, we will examine the social implications and impacts of the information technology revolution, considering how the telegraph parallels the modern rise of social networks, mobile computing, and introduction of global access to broadband networks. In so doing, we will also consider which laws and policies can mitigate less desirable impacts of information technology in our lives.
In 1861, Western Union completed the transcontinental telegraph, changing U.S. history forever. Before then, news would take days or weeks to reach across the country. In the wake of the telegraph, all aspects of life—commerce, culture, and war—were transformed. Today, the latest transformation is the wave of social media and new media that has decimated the notion of a “news cycle.” This acceleration of information production and consumption dates back to the mid-1800s, and the technological changes of that era bear study as we grapple with the technological changes of today.
In this program, Edmund Russell, a Professor of History at Boston University now working on a project evaluating the development and impact of the telegraph, will present his work on the topic. A panel of experts will then discuss the implications of this technological change and link it to the ongoing challenges and opportunities related to the acceleration of information production and consumption.
If you need any accommodations, such as an ASL interpreter, CART, or alternate format versions of printed materials, please contact Susanna Weller at Susanna.Weller@colorado.edu or (303) 492-5442, and we will gladly make any necessary arrangements.
- Edmund P. Russell
Professor of History, Boston University
- Phil Weiser — Moderator
Hatfield Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School; Executive Director and Founder, Silicon Flatirons
- Lori Bergen — Panelist
Founding Dean, College of Media, Communication and Information, University of Colorado Boulder
- Paul de Sa — Panelist
Partner, Quadra Partners
- Patty Limerick — Panelist
Faculty Director and Chair of the Board, Center of the American West, University of Colorado Boulder
- James Monroe — Panelist
Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer, Globalstar
Please note: Per university alcohol policy, only registered guests will be admitted to the reception.