Friday, September 11, 2009

Which Has Had the Bigger Impact, the Printing Press or WWW?

Read the this text and view the video below on the impact of the Gutenberg printing press.


Then read this article and view the video below on the impact of the World Wide Web.



Compare and contrast the impact that the Gutenberg printing press had on 15th and 16th century society and the impact of the World Wide Web on late 20th and early 21st century society (thus far). How are they the same? How are they different? In your opinion, which had the bigger impact (positive and/or negative)? Keep the discussion open and creative. (Post by Friday, September 18th)

26 comments:

Max said...

The printing press and the WWW impacts were the same because they were both used to get information out to a large number of people. They are different because the printing press was able to produce all kinds of written material more quickly and cheaper; the WWW is used to get all kinds of information out to anyone who owns a computer.
I think the WWW had a bigger impact because it did more than just get information out to people; it allows people throughout the world to find out about day-to-day changes and world events the second they happen. It also helps people to plan their day by giving the latest weather forecasts. One can find out just about anything they need to know from the WWW.

ajox10 said...

I think the printing press had been more important because it started everything and made everything that it is today. Now the WWW is a big hit to the world but i think is only so successful because of what the printing press mad it. so as an over all i thing the printing press is the best of the two mostly because of how early it was discovered.

michalski2110 said...

The WWW and the printing press are alike because they are both reliable ways of sharing information to alot of people in a quick way. The WWW is different because it is faster than the prining press in relaying messages and easier. The printing press takes longer to relay messages to people and is not as easy.
I think that the WWW is more important than the printing press because it makes sending and recieving messages much faster and easier than the printing press. With the way the world is today the printing press is too slow for society. When you need to look at information, all you have to do is go on your computer and look for it.

jreyes said...

The printing press drastically changed the way of life for Western Europe for the better while the WWW also changed our way of life as well. What had more impact to the change is the printing press. It allowed many people to obtain information, publish books for public use, and establish schools. In time, democracy was formed. All that the WWW does is provide instant access to information and make life easier, whereas the printing press did so much more.

Danny said...

The impact of the printing press and the impact of the World Wide Web are the same in that they both revolutionized the way information could be produced and spread. Some differences lie in technology, as the WWW can be used and viewed by anyone who has access to the internet anywhere. The printing press was good for mass production of literary works, but the works still had to make it into the hands of the reader which could take some time. In my opinion, the printing press had a larger impact because it was the first time writers could mass produce and truly make a profit off their works, and it also sparked the beginning of formal education which led to a more productive and informed work force.

Kevin Mead said...

The impacts of the printing press and that of the World Wide Web are more different than similar. The printing press was definitely pivotal to 15th Century Europe. It allowed information to be relayed at an exponential rate. However, only those of wealth could afford these large expensive machines. For this reason, most uses of the printing press were for royal decrees.
In contrast, the World Wide Web had a much more universal use. Though at first it was a very priveleged device used mainly by the government, it slowly spread to more personal uses, like email and, like us, blogging. It's pretty clear that the World Wide Web had a much greater effect on the people of the time.

Adam Gracia said...

I believe the printing press had a much bigger impact then the World Wide Web. The printing press increased the literacy and education of all of Europe. Before it, only priests and the wealthy could read. The printing press allowed people to read and interpret things for themselves, ultimately leading to drastic changes in society.

While the WWW also had a huge impact on the world, I don't think it was as important as the printing press. The WWW for the most part only allowed much easier access to things that had been written down and printed. I believe that just about everything found on the Internet can be found in a book.

Nick Born said...

I think the World Wide Web had more of an impact than the printing press. The printing press was a major advancemt at the time, but it didn't compare to what the functions and the overall easiness of the World Wide Web. The printing press was also very expensive so not many could afford them. The printing press did not have a wide variety of functions, but it was extreamly helpful in printing books, which helped educate the population.
Even though the printing press helped educate many people, I think the World Wide Web had a much bigger impact. The World Wide Web could give out a wide variety of information relativly fast, and you didn't have to buy and read books to get knowlegde. For this, i think the World Wide Web had a greater impact.

Tommy Sears said...

I believe that the WWW has had a bigger and more widespread impact on today's time than the printing press had on its. While the printing press was a major advancement for its time, it was used mostly by those who could afford to mass produce documents. This meant that the priviledged controlled what was printed, and therefore the printing press was commonly used for producing propaganda.
The World Wide Web however has provided everyone with access to the internet with full access to any type of information. Also, it provides its users with the ability to publish their own thoughts, ideas, findings, and anything else they feel compelled to share with the world. However, I feel that the WWW wins this argument because it allows people to communicate with people on the other side of the world. People in Canada can share information with folks in Australia. This is where the WWW beats the printing press and secures its position above the it as having the bigger impact.

Tom Minnis said...
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Tom Minnis said...

In my opinion, the World Wide Web and printing press were both key reasons for the rapid cultural advancements of their respective times. They are really only similiar in the fact that they distribute more information to more people however. The priting press, was used to make books with what is now primitive technology. On the other ahnd, the WWW has created a new world on your computer. The printing press only made books available in a time when many were illiterate. The invention of the printing press most definetley contributed to the rise of literacy but the WWW has created millions of new jobs and oppurtunities fro people all over the world.

brigolib said...

The Gutenberg printing press had a major impact on the 15th and 16th century society. Many authors and writers were able to publish thousands of works and spread across Europe in significantly shorter time then before. The WWW is similar to the Gutenberg printing press because it also allows writers and authors to spread their works around very quickly.
On the other hand the Gutenberg printing press was different then the WWW because it created tangible works, but the WWW is viewable online and people can choose to have it digital or physical (with use of a printer).
I think that Gutenberg printing press had a bigger impact because it caused new occupations to emerge and it paved the way for the WWW,newspaper, and other very popular writing methods.

Sizrael said...

The World Wide Web, and the Gutenberg printing press; two of the biggest advancements in communication in the history of man. Both had huge impact on the world around them, and they both revolutionized the way we communicate. However, they are different in that anyone who wants to can post something on the WWW, while the printing press allowed the opinions of only some people to get across.
I think that overall, the WWW has had a bigger impact than the printing press. The kind of audience it allows pretty much anyone who has accsess to a computer and something to say is unheard of. Although the printing press may have paved the way for the Reformation of northern Europe, the impact of the WWW, especially on the individual person, is far greater.

Alex Bradley said...

The inventions of the Printing Press and the World Wide Web are very much alike in sharing information and their impacts are vastly similar, but who they affected is dissimilar.
The printing press had affected mostly Europe at the time it was invented in the 16th century. The WWW had affected the entire world at the time it was invented, and it is continuing to affect the world.
Although the WWW has affected the world and has made accessing information easier, I believe that the printing press has had a bigger impact. Before the time it was created, there was barely any books in the world and many stories were passed down through oral tradition. Also, the only way books could be copied was by hand. After the invention of the printing press, many more books were being made. This improved peoples' intelligence and helped them to challenge their corrupt leaders. Lastly, the printing press helped to spread religion, mostly Catholicism, throughout Europe.

Nick said...

The WWW and the printing press are similar because they changed the culture of the time for the better. Both were a huge advancement in the communication and spread of knowledge for mankind. However i believe that the WWW was bigger advancement of its time.
The printing press was a major invention of its time. It allowed literature to spread all across Europe in a quicker fashion. It allowed the lower classes to be more educated and be able to read. This does not compare to what the WWW allows us to do today. On the WWW we can read,write,shop, and communicate like we are actually with the person. The WWW is avalable to most unlike the printing press which only the rich could afford. The WWW alllows all from any class any where to share their ideas. Unlike the printing press which was dominated by the rich and nobles. This is why i believe the WWW was a bigger advancement.

12smoran said...

The printing press and the World Wide Web share one big similarity: they both convey INFORMATION. Prior to the Italian Renaissance, the convenience of information was minimal - almost non-existant. When Guttenburg created the printing press, information was able to be copied faster and cheaper. This allowed the public to have better access to news as well as entertainment. The World Wide Web(WWW) is not too different. The WWW conveys information at an even faster rate and to a wider audience.
However, the WWW also is used to connect its users to one another.
In my opinion, I believe that they both have a very powerful impact. The Guttenburg press could convey information faster and wider, and it also sparked critical thinking in the people at the time. The WWW, in my opinion, is a far more advanced version of the Guttenburg press, in that it also conveys information, but it also connects users from short to long distances. It also is continually expanding and growing. In this way, through the use of the WWW, the world is connected.

12tsylvester said...

Gutenberg's Printing Press and Berners-Lee's World Wide Web are two remarkable breakthroughs; both of which have drastically changed the way people communicate on every square mile of the planet.

While the Printing Press was invented much earlier than the World Wide Web, it impacted Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries greatly. It allowed for knowledge to be spread much farther than ever before, and for copies of information to be readily available to most everyone. The numbers of books in Europe grew exponentially in just a few years, as did the spread of new ideas and culture.

The World Wide Web was first used in 1996, and a mere decade later we can easily point out hundreds of ways that it has changed the world. In many ways, it's impact is like that of the printing press centuries earlier. It allows for the instant spread of new ideas and provides a simple source of answers for any computer user on the planet. The web has influenced language; inspiring the invention of new words like "blog" and "wiki". The invention of social websites like Myspace, Facebook, and Dating Sites have proven to be able to bring people who live thousands of miles away from eachother to become friends, or to fall in love.

In my humble opinion, the World Wide Web has had a much wider impact on the world than the Printing Press. Not only did the web expand on the changes that the Printing Press brought about, but it inspired the invention of millions of new ways for people around the world to be connected.

BNelson said...

I think that the printing press was important in starting it all. By being able to duplicate books and be able to share and educate each other. The press got the world to were we are now, without reading and learning and interacting with each other we would be a totally different civilization.

I think when talking about the WWW it gives me a since that this is the future of our world. The internet is what will happen in the future. This is what is connecting everyone in the world together in the future i think the WWW will have more of an impact, but now i think the Printing press has more of an impact.

Chris Sekira said...

In my opinion, the printing press had a bigger effect on society than the world wide web. The printing press was the first way to get truthful information to the public. Before, people would just believe what they were told. The printing press was responsible for common literacy.
Without a way to easily spread news and information, we would be much less advanced than we are today. Without the printing press, it would be much harder to spread ideas and inventions. Who knows, we might not have the world wide web without the printing press.

Ryan said...

I believe that the printing press had more of an impact then the World Wide Web because it encouraged literacy in Western Europe, which could have helped develop the World Wide Web. Withput literacy, we would not be able to read or write, which means we would have never created the World Wide Web.

jandrew122 said...

While both the Gutenberg Printing Press and World Wide Web were revolutionary achievements that had substantial effects, I believe the Printing Press to have had the bigger impact. Although the W.W.W. has greatly improved the availibility of information, its impact is limited to those who own a internet accessible device. The Gutenberg Printing Press allowed information to reach practivcally any literate person. It changed the way people thought. No longer did the Church and aristocracy have a monopoly over the distribution of knowledge. The W.W.W. is remarkable forits ability to allow quick communication, But the Printing Press helped create democracy which was far more important the the ability to check your email.

mb688 said...
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mb688 said...

Without a doubt, the printing press had a larger impact on 15th and 16th century society then the World Wide Web has had on us today. Both evoked major changes on their perspective time periods, but the printing press was simply on a whole other level then the World Wide Web. Before the printing press, the majority of people couldn't afford books, which tended to be very expensive. This led to high illiteracy rates among people at the time. The number of available books skyrocketed, while their price plummeted. Common people could now afford a Bible of their own, where prior they had to rely on what they heard at church on Sunday. Thus, the people began to comprehend and even interpret the scriptures by themselves, no longer simply taking what they heard in church as fact.

The World Wide Web was ceratianly a major evolution in how we view, transmit, and store information. It made information more easily accessible then ever. No longer do students have to head over to the library for their science project, they can simply surf the Web. However, the World Wide Web only changed how we view information, whereas the printing press introduced this information to millions for the first time. Seen from this standpoint, the impact on the respective cultures at the time was not even close.
-michael bodley

cbochenek said...

The printing press was definitely a more significant invention then the world wide web. Without the invention of the printing press, society probably would not have progressed as far as it has in almost every field. We might still have a feudal system of government, not be able to read, and not have schools.

The printing press improved many fields. Some of these fields include literacy, individualism, and and improved people's access to knowledge. People's thoughts could be mass produced and spread throughout Europe. It also taught people how to read because with it, they could mass produce books.

The World Wide Web had a similar, but less drastic effect. The effect on the world was still great, but not as great as the printing press. The World Wide Web allowed people to spread information in a matter of seconds. It also allows people to communicate easier. It redefined the meaning of the word "literate." In today's world, you have to have accessed the World Wide Web in order to be a modern "literate."

As you can see, the printing press had a far greater impact on today's world. Without the invention of the printing press, we probably would not have the World Wide Web. The printing press made more people literate, but the World Wide Web changed the meaning of literacy. In my opinion, making more people literate is more important then redefining it. That is why I think the printing press had a greater impact on society then the World Wide Web.

Chris Bochenek

Geoff Rodriguez said...

I think the World Wide Web had a much greater impact than the printing press. The printing press was a technological advancement without doubt, but it did not compare to the accessibility of the World Wide Web. A negative thing about the printing press was that it was not exactly cheap, it was very expensive and especially back in the 15th century the average citizen could not afford one. Also the printing press did not have a wide variety of functions; however the major benefit of the printing press was the printing of books and news papers which helped further educate society. Although the printing press was assisting in further educating the people the World Wide Web was accessible to the public, and offered a bigger variety of information. The World Wide Web was also a financial benefit because people didn’t have to go buy it they could get it fast and cheap in the comfort of their home. In my opinion there is no doubt the World Wide Web had a greater impact.

Jacob said...

The printing press was a great change in way the earlier European centuries operated. before the printing press it was much harder, time consuming, and costly to produce hand written copies. For its time it had a huge impact on individualism, learning, and uniting the area.

The WWW has had a greater impact on the world within its relevance to this day and age. The world today demands that information on all levels be accessible instantly to a large number of people. With the way things are run today, the world would collapse without this.