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Seek and Ye Shall Find

Thanks to a tip from Nate over at Catch and Release, I watched a video that offered some answers to my last, somewhat open-ended, post.

Sometime in about 10th grade, we all learned in history class about the social phenomenon of the London coffeehouse. And as the video's narrator reminded me, the European coffeehouses that arose in the 17th and 18th centuries thrived in large part as a place for literate merchants, tradesmen, and barristers to start their day gossiping and arguing over current events, as they were related in newspapers and pamphlets.

In other words, the still new and evolving technology of mass-produced print directly resulted in people seeking more face-to-face contact. Most significantly, these ad hoc gatherings were conducted across class lines.

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