'Nothing to communicate'

  Jan. 22, 1848 map in  The New York Herald showing North American telegraph lines.

Jan. 22, 1848 map in  The New York Herald showing North American telegraph lines.

"Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end,… We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.''
 

-- Henry David Thoreau, from Walden (1854)