A few other choice quotes, starting with a comment on the decline of reading, from page 9:
"In a society where professional success now rewquires acquaintance with masses of esoteric information, books now are often purchased to be consulted, not read."From page 11:
"The video revolution is, by my reckoning, humankind's third major revolution, and the disruptions occasioned by the first two -- writing and print -- are surprisingly similar to what we are experiencing now. The stages in which the new technologies were adopted seem comparable, as does the profundity of the transformations they cause. Even the anxieties and anger sound familiar."From page 22, after examining the transition from orality to literacy in ancient times:
"Now we are in the early stages of another great communications revolution, surrendering what Emerson called 'these traditional splendors of letters' in favor of the moving image, in favor of video. This seems at first glance quite a powerful new tool, especially when compared to the little scrawlings Thoth was promoting, Indeed, were visitors from Plato's time (or Emerson's) to find their way into one of homes, they might marvel at the machines we have invented for cooking, cleaning, calculating, and sending mail electronically; but would not their gaze be transfixed by that box in front of the couch, with its constantly changing array of images, its miniaturized people, intense dramas, and brilliantly colored scenes?"From page 27, after noting repeated attacks on TV programming:
"Most educated people, eminent or not, find themselves asking why video can't more closely resemble more respected forms of communication, such as books, theater, concerts or conversation."
My final paper for the class, discussing the future of imagery on the Web (cites Stephens' book):