Short explanatory words about some of the publications by Tomas Ohlin, formulated by the author.
Several of these activities and publications concern what was – at the time of creation – future development in the information society. Some take the form of qualitative predictions, that later, after time, have shown to be more relevant than at the time of their birth. These predictions were often met by lack of reader interest at the time, and therefore they were here often expressed in short format.
A number of the references show politically liberal values. These naturally can be read from a general viewpoint. Some of them touch at the time new and unanalyzed concerns. As an example, criticism concerning private and public monopolies is formulated i e in ”The A-computer system conflict” (2006, describing the IBM situation of the 1970s), and in ”Dela upp televerket!” (1979), commenting on the PTT monopolies. As another example, politically deliberative citizen possibilities are formulated in ”Närdemokrati i dataåldern”/”Local Democracy in Telecommunications age” (1971).
Generally, these texts find themselves cover topics within the scope of ”information society”, from an angle that in the beginning emanated from computer science, and that later primarily came to concern political science. Some short words about a few of the publications that are in English:
- ”The power of local information” (1978), describes at the time new communication possibilities, with public applications implemented in the north of Sweden.
- ”TeleGuide, large scale videotex in Sweden” (1988). A comment to the attempt – as it turned out, without success – to duplicate the French Minitel system, with different types of applications.
- ”Towards an information economy” (1990). Unfinished scientific notes aiming at new theory for information, seen in a macro perspective.
- ”Videotex ethics and codes of conduct in an IVIA perspective” (1990), ”Etiska koder i videotex” (1990, together with Karin Synnerstad”), and ”Nätetik behövs” (1995). Concern for ethical aspects of network based telecommunication services were in the 1990s mainly unanalyzed.
- ”Border effects in videotex networks” (1990), ”How important is the network?” (1991), ”Borders between form and content” (2000), and ”Access as value addition” (2000). Dissolving border effects in information society were at the time not yet in focus.
- "Future democracy in the Information Society: Towards more citizen participation in Sweden" (2000). Text showing interest for citizen participation, an interest that increases in – as it turned out – slow pace.
- ”The impossible dream. Measuring the power … ” (2004), and ”Caution. Deep philosophy …” (2007), written together with pioneer Ted Becker. Texts describing the increasing importance of deliberative democratic actions.
- ”The baby networks. Nordic positions before the Internet” (2010). A historical perspective concerning early communication network development.