1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

The State of Radio, Reprised: Another Conversation With Marconi and Armstrong

A Satirical Interview with Two of Radio's Founding Fathers


Guglielmo Marconi, Inventor of Radiotelegraphy

Guglielmo Marconi, Inventor of Radiotelegraphy

Public Domain Photo
(On February 18, 2005 I published a satirical and fictitious interview with two of Radio’s most prominent but dead founding fathers on the current state of the medium (The State of Radio: A Conversation With Guglielmo Marconi and Edwin H. Armstrong). Marconi invented the radiotelegraph and Armstrong invented FM. I felt it was time to again revisit with these two deceased inventors.)

Radio Guide: So, Guglielmo....

Marconi: Oh, thank you for saying it properly. Ever since that search engine hit the scene, everyone's been just calling me Google. What's with that?

Radio Guide: I couldn't say. So, what are your thoughts on Internet Radio?

Marconi: Mama Mia! Does it even remotely resemble electromagnetic waves being transmitted through the air? Does it even fit the definition of "Radio"? It's a bunch of little....uh....packages....

Armstrong: More like packets. Packets of audio. It's like UPS delivering your radio program. It's divided up into, say, a thousand separate packets of sound and they are all delivered one right-after-the-other to your doorstep where you conveniently happen to have your PC. It's the illusion of Radio.

Marconi: Who keeps a PC on a doorstep?

Armstrong: It's just and example, Google.

Marconi: Guglielmo!

Radio Guide: Okay you guys - try and get along. Armstrong, in your opinion: is Internet Radio really "Radio"?

Armstrong: Well, technically that's a big leap. But, then again do you know how many people thought I was nuts when I used to try and explain FM? You can't see it, you can't touch it, but you know the result of it. Internet Radio has a result which you can hear - just like FM...

Marconi: And AM!

Armstrong: Right, Mr. Low Fidelity, so in the end maybe we have to define "Radio" by the end result more than the process.

Marconi: I just want to state for the record if Armstrong were alive today, I would kill him.

Armstrong: Well, lucky for me I'm dead then, right Macaroni?

Marconi: Marconi!

Armstrong: Whatever.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.