Glenn Fleishman has written an article entitled The Killer App of 1900, pointing out that the privacy fears and phobias of more than 100 years ago were little different from today. Today's news is full of stories about people who are afraid of technology being used to invade their privacy. Yet, the following words were written in 1900 A.D.:
“Electric lights are different. Electricity is not in any sense a necessity, and under no conditions is it universally used by the people of a community. It is but a luxury enjoyed by a small proportion of the members of any municipality, and yet if the [municipal power] plant be owned and operated by the city, the burden of such ownership and operation must be borne by all the people through taxation.
“Now, electric light is not a necessity for every member of the community. It is not the business of any one to see that I use electricity, or gas, or oil in my house, or even that I use any form of artificial light at all.”
Interesting reading. It does sound familiar, however. You can read Fleishman's full article at http://publicola.net/?p=20687.
I wonder what our descendants in the year 2109 will think of OUR fears and phobias?