Technology and the End of History: From Time Capsules to Time Machines

René Munnik

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific


    The introduction of writing, especially the alphabet, marked the transition from (oral, mythical) pre-history to history, because it allowed the past to leave its own articulated messages. So, history – consisting of ‘historical facts’, both ‘absent’ and ‘objectively real’ – had a beginning. Contemporary I&C technologies substitute written records by the formal identity of data and algorithms. In doing so, they blur the distinction between absent past facts and their contemporary representations. They allow the on-demand presence of past facts, that do not become ‘history’ anymore. Consequently, these technologies mark the end of history and the transition to a post-historical era.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Art of Ethics in the Information Society
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    PublisherAmsterdam University Press
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Electronic)978 90 4853 515 6
    ISBN (Print)978 94 6298 449 3
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2016


    • Writing
    • History
    • Media
    • Representation
    • ICT


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