The initial inability of Hubbard, White, and everyone else to recognize the promise of the telephone represents a pattern that recurs with a frequency embarrassing to the human race. “All knowledge and habit once acquired," wrote Joseph Schumpeter, the great innovation theorist, “becomes as firmly rooted in ourselves as a railway embankment in the earth.” Schumpeter believed that our minds were, essentially, too lazy to seek out new lines of thought when old ones could serve. “The very nature of fixed habits of thinking, their energy-saving function, is founded upon the fact that they have become subconscious, that they yield their results automatically and are proof against criticism and even against contradiction by individual facts."
He described innovation as a perennial state of unrest: a “process of industrial mutation ... that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.”
Unfortunately for Drawbaugh, four Justices found his testimony and that of his seventy witnesses not credible and dismissed his case. The dissenting Justices accused the majority of siding with Bell, essentially owing to his fame. “It is perfectly natural for the world to take the part of the man who has already achieved eminence. ... It is regarded as incredible that so great a discovery should have been made by the plain mechanic, and not by the eminent scientist and inventor."
Each of these inventions to end all inventions, in time, passed the a phase of revolutionary novelty and youthful utopianism; each way change our lives, to be sure, but not the nature of our existence whatever social transformation any of them might have effected, in a end, each would take its place to uphold the social structure that he been with us since the Industrial Revolution. Each became, that is a highly centralized and integrated new industry. Without exception, the brave new technologies of the twentieth century-free use of which was originally encouraged, for the sake of further invention and individual expression-eventually evolved into privately controlled industrial behemoths, the "old media” giants of the twenty-first, through which the flow and nature of content would be strictly controlled for reasons of commerce.