If media become “demassified” to serve individual wants, it will not be by throwing on lazy readers the arduous task of searching vast information bases, but by programming computers heuristically to give particular readers more of what they chose last time. Computer-aided instructional programs similarly assess students’ past performance before providing the instruction they need. The lines between publication and conversation vanish in this sort of system. Socrates’ concern that writing would warp the flow of intelligence can at last be set to rest. Writing can become dialogue.
Ithiel de Sola Pool, Technologies of Freedom, Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press, 1983, pp. 230-1.
He goes on to suggest that electronic media tend toward freedom, but we have to craft policy to keep them that way.