… telegraphy did something that Morse did not foresee when he prophesied that telegraphy would make “one neighborhood of the whole country.”
It destroyed the prevailing definition of information, and in doing so gave a new meaning to public discourse.
Among the few who understood this consequence was Henry David Thoreau, who remarked in Walden that
“We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate….
We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic and bring the old world some weeks nearer to the new;
but perchance the first news that will leak through into the broad flapping American ear will be that Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough.”
Amusing Ourselves to Death