Evolution of Comunication:
Printing Press, Stone and Chisel, Spoken Word, Noises, Code, Smoke Signals, Cave
Drawings, Carrier Pigeons, “The Great Books” (sacred texts), Bells, Horns, Postal
Service, Telephone, Telegraph, Lighthouse, Radio, Television, Whistle, Internet, Sign
Language, Film, Symbols, Radar, Brail.
philosopher, doesn’t like rich and powerful people, died of hemlock (after charged with
corrupting the youth and impiety) at his own choice, invented Socratic method (question
opponent until they agreed with him), Public Speaking (know your audience, know what
you’re talking about, organizing in coherent way).
September 24 Cl ss
We have the wrong idea about the internet and how it works it’s effects on us (Carr).
Starts with Marshal McLuhan who is changing early media. McLuhan> the medium is
the message. McLuhan criticizes skeptics and enthusiasts.
McLuhans Prophecy: the linear mind is dissolving. (because of electricity and light).
School’s don’t understand media and so they will become obsolete. Lives are being
reorganized because of media.
The way we use things defines them. (the medium is the message). McLuhan thinks that
the message can’t be complete, that the audience has to fill in the meaning.
Media isn’t just the Pipes through which things flow, it’s our environment.
HAL And Me
Hal used a prophecy to show how we become emerged in computer tech.
That first computer made computing more personal. Computer connected him to things.
Life seems better.
When information doesn’t come as the internet gives it to him, Carr gets easily frustrated
and angry because information isn’t coming like the internet gives it out.
Carr thinks he himself, is a human HAL. The internet is making him this way. It’s not
that internet doesn’t not make people intelligent, he just thinks it’s a “shallow form” of
intelligence. Retraining our brains to function like computers (reducing ourselves to
information processing devices).
Fixed Brain, Flexible Brain
Brain changes based on media we use.
The experience in the world changes the way your brain works.
Changes us in fundamental ways.
“You become what you’re doing”
long patterned experience alters how your brain works. Instrumentalist v. Determinist
A lot of people bring instrumentalist approach to tech. They think that it’s how it’s used
Determinst makes more sense: CLOCK. Shows how abstract sense of time initiated
through clock is not natural. But it’s clear effect of ubiquity of clock technology.
Repeated use of something rewires us to continue to do what we’ve already done.
October 1 , 2013 Lectur
Plato’s story: ban poets (Homer etc…) from education because of its’ content (written
in blood/corrupting) and because Plato feared persuasion on an irrational level.
People used to etch messages into surfaces like: parchment, papyrus, stone, sand, wax
and animal skins. (each had their own benefits and cons) These different writing surfaces
each influenced the communicative message in their own way (ie: easy to transport, long
With books, it’s easy to flip pages and move on and find order quickly but with scrolls,
it’s difficult to find what you’re looking for.
Writing was difficult and expensive so the prose’s where not expressive like what we are
used to today.
Oral tradition still dominates writing back then when writing was just invented and for
Eventually, writing improved and dominated over the oral culture (ie: spaces, spelling
patterns, word order conventions…)
Silent reading is an innovation (reading used to be out loud).
printing press allows for words to be reproduced (democratization of the literate mind,
where it “all begins to happen”).
Guttenberg bible was one of first things printed. However, only a select few could read
Writing dominated for like 500 years, but now, it is changing. The first threat occurs in
the midtwentieth century which was the Audio/Television era.
Internet is a fundamental challenge.
Neil Postman’s book: Amusing Ourselves to Death says that image based entertainment
(ie: tv and news) was dangerous because it displaced the mind and allowed you form
opinions and judgments on it. The media system was not focused on understanding, but
simply on gaining your attention.
Stephenson: We used to interact with machines through text. We now click on graphics
and images to tell our machines what to do. For Stephensons, this was a disaster because
it collected knowledge and we weren’t able to get familiar with how they work.
Powerpoints become a convention (As soon as one is asked to do a presentation, people
immediately go to Power point before thinking of content etc).
Powerpoint is often unexplained (ie: the correlation between slides and points etc).
For Tufte, it’s hard to use power point to explain yourself because it’s limiting.
We’re so used to having something take our attention quickly that we are having a heard
to keeping focus on something for a long time and deeply.
October 8 , 2013
Peoples first interaction with computing was through the telephone. People used to hack phones
3 STAGES (Ceruzzi)
5 ELEMENTS (Ceruzzi). > Control (software), Storage, Calculation, Communication,
Integrated Circuits (processing power).
4 THREADS > Digitization, Solid State Electronics Industry, Human Machine Interface
(issues of Freedom, Intelligence), Convergence.
IBM, Microsoft, Apple
IBM: International Business Machines
Tabulating things/the automation of counting
turned into electric machines
SAGE COMPUTER (1956) (IBM + MIT made this machine for US Military).
Sage computer was developing real time processing.
at the end of the 1960s, IBM started selling machines without all of the parts.
You had to buy the rest of the stuff.
Microsoft: Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen
Sells software (nothing physical) (information on how to work computers).
Microsoft used to release bugged software and when people would call to find a
solution, they’d sell the solution and get feedback at the same time.
Bill Gates wanted Internet Explorer to be the best browser so it came with each
machine and software purchased.
October 22 , 20 3
Computers can think v.s. computers can’t think.
Tourring Test: “man in one room, computer in another and referee in another. If the
referee cant tell the difference between both, then computers can think”.
Watson, first machine on jeopardy, beat the raining chapmions.
November 19 , 2013 (Video Game Guest Speaker)
Mock Exam, November 26 , 2:304:30
Download exam from CU Learn, write it and bring your essay with you to tutorial on
November 26 . th
There are no tutorials or lecture the week of Dec 3.
Brief History of Games
Mainframes and Early History
Playing at Home
Networks and “casual” gaming.
First game was “Space Wars”. Couldn’t pass a copy of the game. You had to send the
instructions on how to write the game to a same computer.
People then played at Arcades. (Still paying to use computing power).
In 1986, Legend of Zelda came out on NES.
In 1995, Sony released the Playstation.
Tuesday, Jan, 7 , 2014 Lecture Propaganda
Triump Of the Will 1935 Nazi Propaganda film.
Trying to show how Hitler is an honourable man, glorifies him.
Tuesday, January 14 Lecture on Propaganda
Disney Movie with American Government and RCA: “Food Will Win The War”.
The term propaganada is fairly new, only about 500 years old.
Tried to think about ideal state.
>Main idea was to get rid of the Poets and get them away from education of
Reasons: didn’t like the content of the poems. (curriculum) (too
violent, immoral…) and he worried about the substitution for
persuasion of a rational argument (he was worried that poets could
convince people easily to think certain ways).
Recounts story from Socrates: Socrates offers how to keep Polis intact and one of the
ways to do this is by saying “I will speak, although I really know not how to look you in
the face, or in what words to utter the audacious fiction… They (the citizens) are to be
told that their youth was a dream, and the education and training which they received
from us, an appearance only; in reality during all that time they were being formed and
fed in the womb of the earth…”
The Noble Lie:
Lie to secure the unity of the state. Repeat and repeat until it’s just natural.
Cursaders used to walk around with crosses all of the time.
propagation of the faith.
two ways to think of propaganda.
Neutralist: no negative connotations to the word “propaganda”. Simply a way of
persuading people but it is not negative. Propaganda used to be seen as good because it
could end wars.
Moralist: To use techniques routed in military science to persuade someone (who is
similar to you) is unethical and not moral.
Canadian Examples of Propaganda
Oldest example is the Railroads. They supported tourism and immigration. Politicians
where interested in that because they didn’t want Americans taking land. Train people
wanted it because they had lots of commutes to do with different agricultural products.
They tried to create beautiful images of Canada in order to encourage people to come to
Canada from all over the world. One of most prominent examples is in War. WW2 Germans learnt a lot from the North
American propaganda from WW1.
In Canada during WW1, many people played different roles in supporting the war as
seen in propaganda. Trying to get them to go fight the war in Europe or to send their sons
to go fight in the war.
WW2: you saw that nations would use propaganda to try and keep a nation together in
times of war. CBC was routinely used as a source of propaganda in Canada. CBC was not
aloud to report on any negative stories while conscription in Canada was being debated.
Is propaganda ever effective? Is our identity and the ability to have national pride (ie:
proud Canadian) a form of propaganda?
Definitions of Propaganda
“Propaganda is the management of collective attitudes by the manipulation of significant
symbols”. Harold Laswell
“Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate
cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the
Types of Propaganda: White (source is correctly identified and it announces itself as
propaganda), Grey (messaging that you can’t tell who author is, not clear), Black
(misinformation, disinformation, attempt to misidentify the source).
Ghost Writing: When someone writes something for someone else to take credit for.
Propaganda always have a persuasive attempt but we can’t call all forms of persuasion
Propaganda can have no effect, people often believe that they are not persuaded.
Propaganda can interject ideas/beliefs into ones brain (Massive, Direct
Effects/Hypodermic Syringe Model).
Propaganda has minimal effects. All of us have multiple roles but every message we
receive is mediated by our roles.
Propaganda has indirect effects. Ie: Nazi propaganda was not popular