<I>Man In The Telesphere</I> Introduction



We regret that the following text is a scan of the original with a few scanning errors remaining to be corrected.

Below we provide an index to some of the pioneering terms and concepts of the 1971 manuscript - with some page references to the original. When in the 1971 text Rodgers referred to the future "electronic web" (pp 72, 74), he then provided the term which we all now use. But other terms which he used in 1971 - such as "multi-mode media" and "links" (pp 9, 63) (now the hypertext-networking concept) differ slightly from subsequent usage.

Man in the Telesphere posited the future connection and integration of all electronic artifacts and media - and explored the likely outcomes in politics, economics, culture etc.
Some Telesphere concepts Rodgers had first alluded to in articles published in the Fifties and early Sixties, including in Canada's Saturday Night magazine [to which McLuhan then had a subscription - and where he probably read more by Rodgers than vice versa]. Unlike McLuhan and Teilhard, however - both of whom perceived media and evolution as primarily centralizing - Rodgers argued that a future transcending man-machine consciousness would be paradoxically both centralizing and decentralizing in manifestation. [And as a teenage apprentice briefly working at Stromberg-Carlson in Rochester NY in 1951, Rodgers had suggested that computers (then the size of double-decker busses) would "shrink, and link, and help us think" - in letters to Popular Science and Popular Mechanics].

Rodgers in 1970 explained to prospective publishers that some of the concepts behind Man in the Telesphere could best be portrayed graphically in a film or video sold along with the book. These included portraying the transition from terrasphere to telesphere; teleconferenced holograms; and what we might now - after later (post-1971) Star Trek productions - call a system of "replicators", enabling humanity to produce a balanced nutrition from inert materials and transcend predation, etc.When in 1971 Rodgers found no willing publisher for Telesphere, the 108-page manuscript was photocopied on a "non-published copyright-retained" basis and distributed to various "think-tanks" at Stanford, University of Toronto, the Futures Society, etc. Esfandiary (then Futures Society), Dakin (then Toronto), DeMercado (then Communications Ministry Ottawa), and many others borrowed concepts from Telesphere without citation. Others no doubt were influenced in subsequent thought, without remembering the original source. And Telesphere has not been the only pioneering research subject which Rodgers failed to get effectively published, despite his many other books and articles. [Information technology readers will be more interested in Rodgers' practical IT-implementation pioneering, as recounted at the bottom of the Vancouver University welcoming page].

Telesphere is here/now (1998) fully "published" - electronically, as Rodgers predicted in 1971. You may download substantial portions for scholarly purpose. Full-text publishing right, print or electronic, is retained.
(c) Raymond Spencer Rodgers 1998. Web-archive production by Karen Douglas. Web-Prophet Foundation email:


The following numerals refer to original print document pages. These references are only a few examples of now-established phenomena alluded to in the 1971 text. Also, note that due to the low-tech scanner used to capture this document, certain footnotes are presently unreadable; and some end-of-manuscript (readable but non-html-linked) notes clarify a concept in the main text.

Convergence 9 16 etc
Cyberspace - see virtual environments
Decentralized society structuring 14-16, 33, 66-70 etc.
Decentralized-unitary world 52
Democratization of system designs 10
Economics 11, 27, and see print footnote 16.
Education, on-line delivery 70, and see Virtual environments
Electronic publishing 1 + 63
Environmental concern 65, 66, and see Star Trek below.
Feminist perspective 5
GUI, icons, windows 63
Home-based occupations, return of - 12, 70
Hypertext/media 10 + 63
Interactive media/communications 15, 58-59 etc
Internet 16 + 10 + 62-63, 72
Links 10 +63
Multimedia 16, etc
Replicators (pre-StarTrek) 25 + 26 + 27 [and in 1957]
Telesphere 16, but then see the second-from-last paragraph of the final chapter.
Universal machine 9 15 etc
Virtual environments 26 (item at end of section), 60-62, 70, 77-78, 82 etc
Wireless world 21, 70
Web - see Internet and Links/Hypertext, and then 72 + 74

Original 1971 Table of Contents / Text

  • Back to present-time Introductory page 1