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Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G

MIT 2000 History of Technology  The creation of the wheel – first great piece of technological invention – it changed the way we work on this earth  Cant study societies and technology separately o Exhibition in Philadelphia to celebrate the American Revolution o He built a chordless engine that brought power – the engine didn’t survive history because it was too bed – you couldn’t move it around o Couldn’t transfer information  What do you do when the state has the monopoly of knowledge – how do you get it out? –  University education was not something for women  CBS and NBC came to the radio world in 1948  Harold Innis says that if you control the flow of information – if you create the info that becomes part of the flow – you are then accessing power o Ex. Prime minister controls the flow of information – could spread false information – the ability to buy elections  Certain arrangements are necessary for the flow of info to take place – a lot of things were oral – not the info made by the Catholic Church in the 1400’s o Novices were copying greek, latin, and roman texts – Press in England o Printing is a technological phenomenon  Printing press is also a social phenomenon - brought a concept that people should not only communicate orally but also through writing and reading  Info has a soul – it has character  Railways are a part of the communication struction – Transportation and Communication  Communication and the need for it to be efficient is the basis for the birth of capitalism o Prior to the printing press – especially England , was divided into counties lead by a duke who runs the agricultural industry – serf are allowed to use the land if they pay – land is shared between serf and landlord which is called commons because no one owned it – printing press comes along and get together and decide to take advantage of this technology – they developed land for industry and shover serfs off the land – developed new type of commerce – serfs go to big cities and start working in industries o Printing = capitalism = communication devices = newspaper = English working class o Following manarchy in Britain there were many laws regarding communication and how free the Germans can be – they aren’t free – they are under politics  Movie o Jones found that the English father represntes the father, pitar, pater, three, new, and seven convinced Jones that they were all apart of the same language family o Jones though that Indo European language was the branch for multiple other languages – it originated in central Europe o The names of celtic rivers like thames, etc, were borrowed by the invaded – when the angle Saxons invaded the Celtics fled – the celtic language is heard in modern Welch – o Any ole from Germany will understand old English Sept 18, 2012 – Writing/Print Culture Textbook Readings: Pg 10-20 The Greek Alphabet:  Greek letter sin inscription in 700BC where they invented alphabet – therefore inventing literacy  The alphabet was shapes as it passed through different cultures  Two versions: eastern and western then were cancelled due to the printing press  It democratized literacy, or rather made democratization possible  The greeks instuilled the skill of reading into children making making it an automatic reflex – this menat school institutions had to be strengthened  The new script of reading changed the content in humans mind somewhat – the acoustic efficiency of the script had a result which was psychological- once it was learned you did not have to think about it  A great alphabet could only be successful when its components were robbed of any indepandant meaning whatever, in order to become convertible into a mechanical device  the new system could identify the phonemes of any language with accuracy  the alphabet was first used not for communication, but for transferring of stories into boks – prose recorded and preserved in quantity  because the alphabet was now a visual record, replacing the acoustic one, it abolished the need for memorization, rhythm, brainpower, memory  immense expansion of knowledge available to the human mind  created the existence of novel statements – since they were a proven statement in a book – read, reread – spreading influence around Aftermath of the Alphabet  fully became a force when Europe copied letter shapes into movable type  paper was animal skins, and papyrus sheets – Athenian children were on sand and slate  the written word carried the value of a commodity in limited supply  literature became a large club – resiricted – member became familiar with one anothers words  books and documentations multiplied in the Hellenistic and Roman priods  rule that a law or manuscript could not be produced in newspapers  calligraphy becomes the enemy of literature  alphabetic literacy therefore had to wait the invention of the printing press The Rise of the Reading Republic pg 16-20  McLuhan made us more aware of the social and psychological consequences of printing o Silent scanning replaced personal face to face interactions- impersonal o We don’t have to think metaphorically and abstractly o Printing didn’t introduce silent scanning 0 it introduced silent instructors which nowadays carry farther than public lecturers o Diminish the spoken word – textbook industry flourished, though classroom lectures never died o Arguments amplified by the written word o Silent publication altered the characted of spoken words – ex. Altered the way songs were recited, and sung o A literacy culture created by typography was conveyed to the ar, no the ear by companies and poetry readings  Story teller replaced by literate person who read from cheap books  Pornography appeared  News gathering was more affective with the newspaper – instead of going to church – weaker community ties – coffee houses/clicks formed around newspapers – links to other units instead of social ones  Royals switched to print to announce declarations of war, publish battle accounts, treaties, etc. Kovarik, “The Printing Revolution” Pg. 17-45  Cheaper, quicker, more accurate communication across one-formidable boundaries of space and time  Martin Luther – 95 Theses – 95 things wrong with the Catholic Church – printing press amplified his words  Printing spread news of exploration, descriptions of new technologies, improvements in medicine, insights to astronomy – carried authority and influence  A new item of political centralism that was previously unknown – created a standard for reading and writing  Early newspapers were censored – could now be printed until they had been approved by the church and king in catholic countries – therefore talented printers moved to free countries for freedom of the pre Pg. 62-70 A Cultural Approach to Communication – James W Carey  Conceptions of Communication: o Transmission: imparting, sending, transmitting or giving information to others – communication is the transmission of signals or messages over distance for the purpose of control – the desire to increase the speed and effect of messages as they travel in space –  Europe: movement in space were political and mercantilist escape boundaries of Europe- reformations in churches  Transportation seen as a form of communication with profoundly religious implications – movement of space to extend the kingdom of God – telegraph broke the identity of communication and transportation – telegraph became modification of matter but the transmission of thought  Eg. Newspaper is a medium for disseminating new, knowledge in larger packages over greater distances o Ritual: communication is linked to terms like sharing, participation of a common faith, commonness – focused not toward the extension of messages on space but the maintenance of society in time; not the act of imparting info but the representation of shared beliefs – highest manifestation of communication not in construction of an ordered - draws persons together in fellowship and commonality  Dace, plays, architecture, news stories, strings of speech creates an artificial through real symbolic order but to manifest an ongoing social process  Ritual seen as week because culture is over looked by progress and work oriented institutions – isolation of science from sulture  Eg newspaper – ritual communication would rather attend a Mass and learn about how a particular view of the world in portrayed  News is not information but drama – does not describe the world but portrays an arena of dramatic forces and action; it exists solely in historical time September 25, 2012 (Newspapers) McNairn “Most Powerful Engine: the Press and its Readers”  Most of Upper Canadians political information came from colonial newspaper  Four positivities came from the press: 1. By diffuring knowledge, more newspapers would spark readers curiosity by urging men to seek deeper sources of knowledge, 2. Defining issues of common concern, 3. encouraging emulation, etc… on pg 129  By disseminating info, newspapers helped create, just not reflect, public opinion  Diff between publication and verbal transmission – in print opionions can be abstracted from person of original author whereas speaker influences words and how they are received  newspapers interesting media compared to books because had increasing number, biases, fierce attacks on one another- made for active choice – readers developed a most skeptical attitude because of competing papers  expansion of papers was driven by demand – had to start giving global info that was not known to the community already through word of mouth – became dominated by government and politics  public sphere: Kovarik “The Printing Revolution” pg. 46-75  steam press emphasized speed and less physical labor – cost of production down, potential for advertising us since its reaching mass markets - 1830 o created the penny press because newpapers were making so much money they could drop the prices to get their paper out to all o published could now serve broad public tastes rather then elite because everyone could now afford the paper  Ben Day started NY press around interests of common day rather than politics – began penny press in usa  Political revolutions of 1848- freedom of the press, along with freedom of assembly, etc – “bond between political world and the individual” Marx  Barons: pubishers personal stamps on articles: yellow journalism, etc.  Crusading journalism: illustrated pictures to reach out to the working class o Yellow journalism: yellow ink used to draw a humorous picture about politics – Randolf Hearst : dishonest, fake stories, plagiarizing,  in the 1780’s we began to see things we hadn’t ever seen before o news information became a commodity that could be bought and sold  John Milton wrote a plea for the right of free speech – people did not have any authority to speak  Benjamin harris takes a boat to Boston – he launched a journal called Public Occurences – concept was that it was a quarter sheet and the first three pages were devoted to news – blank age on the back was for all readers to write their commentary then you pass it on to the next person then the next o Harris pointed out fallacies about the right to free speech - 1649 to 1776 o If the civilians behave they wont be taxed as much o Milton was very religious and very aware of the religious battles that were occurring – was aware of role of god and church – either Roman Catholic or the Church of England – interpretation of theology by the clergy … you had to go find priest then confess then you could speak to god – Milton didn’t agree with this – said it was an invasion of privacy o No significant advances in technology during this time – Gilray - used illustration to tell story of the day – editorial drawings – learned how to paint in color – no medium could carry this color – he went to coffee houses and posted his illustrations onto the window – o George Crookshank was Gilray’s successor o 1820’s – journals carried text and sketches – illistrations are key because illustrations tell stories o Punch – magazine in England – 1844 – first issues did not have drawings – it published until the 1900’s – by creating Punch they created a whole new genre of information communication – there was only church meetings, town councils, family gatherings, gossip, etc. – it created a hunger for information – journalism was becoming a commodity that could be bought and sold o Trade Union Newspaper inItaly – fought unsafe factory work of magazine factories o 1726 – John peter Zenger – German immigrant that travelled to new york – set up newspapercalled New York Journal – he wasn’t a fan of authorities – William Cosby was one politician he detested – wrote investigative series of articles on corruption of Cosby who was the gobernor of NY – Cosby had Zenger arrested for criminal lible – case went to trial and found not guilty – defense council said you cannot convict someone who is telling the truth – o 1827 – newspaper called the Colonial Advocate founded at Niagra on the Lake to Toronto because the defenses at Toronto is easier then Niagra – Mackenzie sets up printing device – John Strachan was leader and was the target of William Mackenzie’s paper – gang hired to wreck the presses – dumped them in the water of Lake Ontario – Mackenzie back in business in 48 hours – Strachan organized a rebellion in 1897 – ended up in downtown battling and Mackenzie escaped – eventually Mackenzie was forgiven and elected mayor of Toronto o in NY the newspaper community was thriving – James Bennet Jr and Sr. – smuck and sell - another paper ran by Web – Web and Bennett hated each other – o in 1840’ sPeter Brown (father of George Brown) wanted stronger presence in Presbyterian church in Canada – George founded newspaper in Toronto called The Banner – had classified ads and realized there was stories in the ads – the he founds the Globe and Mail – Brown establishes himself as a successful man – he ran for parliament before confederation – him and John Macdonald didn’t get along – George Brown was a conservative who didn’t like it when people messed with him – o Montreal family launches a number of journals with illistrations  The how printing press in the 1900’s – changes the phychology of printing – newsprint went ond rums and they were ran by steam 0 the drums would go around  1896 had color journalism  linotype often had shards that would come of the lead o based on QWERTY keyboard  Morse code – allowed us the ability to send communication anywhere with a wire – first form of electronic communication –  Princeton (outside of Woodstock) – Birchasll was a conn artist – Menwell (his civtim) – Birchall sold land in counties of Ontario – the land didn’t exist – Menwell got suspicious – They take the CN towards London to Princeton where the land is supposed to be – in December – only one man comes out , Birchall – Birchall said he had no idea where he went – Menwells body was shot and frozen to the pond – body was found – people got interested – this story became international because of Birchalls fraud and murder – he was convicted on forensic evidence – they compared bullet from gun to the one in the victims head – first time in history – Ontario detective JA Murray send men to seek gun and found it along the track near Paris Ontario – October 3, 2012 Johnston “Newspapers, Advertising 1850-1900” 114-125  Canada became a place of migrantion for thousands of immigrants – therefore factories and products were being introduced and there was a need for advertising  Ancourages by publishers and advertising agents – revue occurred due to advertising, instead of jorunalists  Toronto was the center of manufacturing, that meant that Torontos papers were benefiting the mist in terms fo advertising  Needed a ratio of news to ads  Advertising agents emerged- then space buyers who would buy a section of the paper and sell that area to foreign advertisers– specialists in what paper woud be the best for their product  Revenue from the foreign advertising woulf doon supass that from any other souce of income the newspapers enjoyed, including readers ubscriptions – agents became spokes men for the new trade and constructed the modern ad trade Kovarik “the printing rev” 75-105  Russian Revolution- Vladimir Lenin said the first step in a revolution was to create a newspaper to carry communist message – absolute censorship  In 1950’s most newspapers became publically traded because small families couldn’t afford taxes News, Photography, Advertising Civic ad Mass Newspaper  The Courier if Upper Canada Yellow Press/Mass/Entertainment Newspaper  Joseph Pulitzer 1883 1. Advertising over subscription 2. Sensationalism 3. Entertainment 4. Self advertising 5. Illustrations 6. Large headlines – readers would understand basic point just by seeing large type 7. Use paper 8. Commuter friendly - 9. Lead/inverted pyramid – putting important news first and stuff less cared about last 10. Hugh Graphan Montreal Star 18802w John R Robertson Toronto Telegram 1. Advertising 2. Higher costs 3. Local news (crime, scandal) 4. Entertainment over information function From Civic to Mass Newspaper Ciciv Newspaper 1820-1890 – Democratic Sociability 1. Political advocates 2. Public defender 3. Public responsibility 4. Civic education 5. Editor publisher, small shop 6. Opinion making – editorial 7. Public record of legislative proceedings 8. Public utilty Mass Newspaper 1890 + 1. Commercial enterprise 2. Advertising reliant 3. Corporations and chains 4. Heavily capitalized 5. Decline of editorial pages 6. Less partisan 7. Higher circulation, fewer newspapers 8. Readership over partnership Space Biased Media (Innis) 1. Dialectic a. Liberty and monopolies of knowledge b. Printing press 2. Balance a. Time/space b. Certrifugal (center based)/centripetal (space based)– is power locked into center of community? – c. Democratic society Newspaper: SUmamry  Corantos  Press freddom  Democracy/resp giv  Postal system  Polite sociability/democratic society  Civic newspaper/mass newspaper  Circulation.subsricption  News as a commodity October 15, 2012 Postal/Telegraph/Telephone Osborne/Pike “Lowering the Walls: The Rav in Postal Communications in Canada 1851-1911”71-91  Postal substituted Telecommunities and of physical movement of people and the facetoface interaction of traditional economic and social organization of our society – effects business, office org, and the nature of home and family  System made available to ordinary people as part of everyday life – which had previously only been for elites  Increased number of post offfices, frequency of service were aspects of this change  Literacy was necessary in this development  Rev in communitues – private interpersonal communications  Railway systems in 1850w was the most signifigant tech advancement that developed mass postal network  1851 birth of mass postal system- postal became provincial instead of colonial – improved administration and policy  facilitated transactions for finace and banking – security –  postal system became important in the dissemination os daily newspapers  newspaper publishes benefited from getting discounted rates on mail charges and not having ot ay for delivery  MIT 2000 Radio History 1. Wired/Wireless 2. Bi-Directional: one to one 3. Uni-directional a. Central transmitter to passive receivers b. Broadcasting 4. Public interest/commercial interest – should it be controlled/bought/sold – subsidized by tax money specifically radio licenses – 5. Culture community formation Radio Tachnology  Radio Waves – electric magnetic energy, radiating in waves  Henrich Herty 1988 – lab experiments- telegraphs without wires (Hertzian waves) Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937)  Land ship  Trans Atlantic signal (1901)  Marconi Wireless Telegraph Signal Co – trans Atlantic – first commercial service  Generates waves through the air – shorter the better – experiments bwteen England and new brunsiwick  It was the people like Marconi that understood their potential Reginald Fessenden (1866-1932)  First voice transmission – “radiotelephone” 1900 – candlestick with mouth piece that stuck to ear  Shore to ship broadcast (1906) Early Radio Telegraph  Morse code  Shipping.distress calls  Titanic (1912)  Simultaneity of experience  Worldwide network Amateur Radio  Technical expertise – home-made radio sets  Exploratory listening distance  Middle-class boys/men  Unregulated frequencies -  Bi-directional  Pranks – All Titanic PassengersSafe  Obscene false message  Lots of radio traffic  Radio Act of 1912 (US) World War 1 (1914-18)  Military Control – Naval Shell spotting – ban citizen use  Post 1918 oppose: amateur uses – foreign ownership Early Broadcast Radio  One to one – Dxing 1920-1924 – voice/sound  One to many Broadcasting – (telephone “Broadcasers”)  Frank Conrad/KDKA 1920 – given credit for being the founderof radio – Charles Herold is the missing founder who also helped  XWA Montreal 1920 – become a full blown radio station – had a broadcast set up  RCA 1921 Early Radio  1921 – 2 radio stations  1925 100’s in us and Canada o Dept stores/churches/newspapers/universities o Non-commercial origins o Public interest/limited spectrum  2 famous characters on radio: Amos & Andy – two working class African americans who always got into trouble Network Radio: AT&T 1925  25 station network – long distance lines – sell time on transmitters, “air time” to advertisers –
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