The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

This week’s “Things I Like” is a book, The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires (Unabridged), authored by Tim Wu.

Wu, trained as an Attorney has held positions as a Columbia Law School professor, contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, Obama administration Senior Advisor to the Federal Trade Commission and National Economic Council member.  Most notably, Wu coined the phrase “net neutrality.”

Tim Wu takes us through the history of United States communications; from telegraph and telegram to telephony, radio, cinema, television, cable and now the internet; and shows how with each new medium powerful business-stakeholders have used their leverage over political officials to form anti-competitive public trusts, cartels and monopolies protecting the powerful and influential while making it more difficult for new, disruptive technology businesses to enter or compete in the marketplace.

Considering the recent public debate regarding net neutrality’s repeal I would encourage church tech and leadership to read this book, all the more so as Wu himself encourages increased government regulation. I think you may find that after a careful review of the facts Wu offers, it is possible to determine that history proves over and over again that increased control over industry by government is not an aid and protection of the consumer’s rights as so much the politically well connected.