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Western University
Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G
David Spencer

MIT 2000History of CommunicationWeek 1OralSocietySome Psychodynamics of OralityOngImagine oral culture culture with no knowledge of writing or even the possibility of writingTo reflect on an oral culture first reflect on soundoSound exists only when it is going out of existenceoThere is no way to stop sound and have sound like you can with writing movies etcoNo equivalent of a still shot for sound oAll sound which comes from inside living organisms is dynamicNames gives human beings power over what they name without learning a store of names one is powerless to understand chemistry for exoChirographic folk names as labelsoOral folk no sense of a name as a name no idea of a name as something that can be seenoWritten representations of words can be labels spoken words cannotWithout writing there is no way for someone to produce the same line of thought again or even verify whether or not heshe has done soTo solve the problem of retaining and retrieving articulated thought you have to do your thinking in mnemonic patterns shaped for ready oral recurrenceoThoughts have to come into being heavily rhythmic balanced patterns in repetitionoPracticed orally based thought tends to be highly rhythmic for rhythmic aids recall even physiologicallyoFormulas help implement rhythmic disouce and act as mnemonic aides in their own rightoHeavy patterning and communal fixed formulas in oral cultures serve some of the purposes of writing in chirographic culturesBy storing knowledge outside the mind with writing and print it downgrades the wise old man and women who knew things based only from memoryText frees the mind of its memory workPrinting RevolutionKovarikInterpreting Aboriginal CulturesFriesen Empire and CommunicationsInnisLectureSeptember 11 2012Monopoly of knowledge if you give enough people enough incentive and money they will consolidate 4 theories of the press1960s rush to make media studies programs in schoolsMarshall McLuhan the medium is the messageContemporary Ano Hart James CareyTutorialThursday September 13 2012TA AaronOffice Hours NCB 446B every Thursdays 200300 pmEmail ageorg26uwocaCome prepared with 2 questions based on the tutorial readings readings are broken up into lecture readings and tutorial readingsLecture focused on oral developmentHow our society functioned with oral communicationHistorical perspective how oral wordings were how they discussed music poemsLecture readings in various societies story tellers is how communications were carried out they sang out storiesInnis Tutorial ReadingTutorial Reading Role that communication ties into empire starts out with economic view because he ties it in with the aspect of communicationFurther in the readings breaking up communication and the medium after oral communication was written communication but what was the medium This is where space and time comes out via mediaSpace biased medium media that can travel geographical distance literal definition oral communication was a good example telegraph telephoneTime biased medium books are a good example of this a medium of communication that can withstand the passage of time and stays in place empire they used clay tablets that were then used to run hierarchiesInnis came up with empires are built upon a synchronization of space and time oral word came up with written word because it gave them the opportunity to set up governmentsNational broadcast websites are a current example of space time biased mediumWhat does the Internet do for the government It can give you information but it can also access what you are doing which websites you are going etcSynchronization of space time medium is that it allowed them to strengthen the governmentUse of wood to create paper started papyrus and as we move on towards British Empire they started to utilize paper which came from China paper was a medium of communication that was spacetime biased travel easily and last long His concept of spacetime is based in every aspect of communication as a wholeWeek 2WritingPrint CultureLiterate Revolutions in Greece and Cultural ConsequencesLecture ReadingGreeks did not just invent an alphabet they invented literacy and the literate basis of modern thoughtPrinting press democratized literacy made literacy possibleGreek system by its analysis of sound placed skill of reading possible of young childrenOnce it was learned you did not have to think about itA true alphabet could only become operative when its components were robbed of any independent meaning whatever in order to become convertible into a mechanical mnemonic deviceThe new system could identify the phonemes of any language with accuracyEven though today we read what we are listening to is an acoustic transcription of all the contrived forms in which oral speech had been preservedThe alphabet more importantly brought into being was prose recorded and preserved in quantityThe alphabet abolished need for memorization and hence for rhythmMental energies were released of having to memorize everything and there was an expansion of knowledge available to the human mindWe were able to come up with a new ideaa novel statement cannot realize its potential until it can be preserved for further useAlphabet stimulated thinking of novel thoughtNo accident that prealphabetic cultures of the word were pre scientific prephilosophical and preliteraryThere were limits to classical literacy by character of materials and methods employed to manufacture written wordManagement of alphabet became habit of rapid reading but there was no large volume of documentation to practice onReadings of literate Athenian were confined within limits but what he read he read carefullyInscribed language was not manufactured fast enough to dull the attention of verbal tasteDistinction between our modern paper literacy and literacy of our ancestorsoQuantitative limitations placed in antiquity upon materials availableoQuantitative limitations upon the creation of all documentsCalligraphy enemy of literacyAlphabet literacy in order to overcome limitations had to await invention of printing pressPrinting RevolutionKovarik Lecture ReadingPrinting changed the appearance and state of whole world by providing cheaper quicker and
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