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Lecture 1

Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Architectural Digest, Proverb, Mnemonic

Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
MIT 2000F/G
Daniel Robinson

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015
MIT 2000 Communication History - Week 1
Writing, Memory, Oral Society
- we rely on writing as an aid memoir
- use technology to facilitate every day life
- do not trust our memory as they deteriorate significantly
- we have learnt to read and write therefore we rely less on memory and our skills of
memorization have weakened
- writing to present/future self
- trying hard to remember things nowadays isn’t as much of an issue as we can easily
rely on written
Memory Palace
- Simonides of Ceos, 5th century BC
- banquet hall collapse, only survivor, he was able to spatially configure his memory of
who else was there inside the building when asked by authorities
- age where most are illiterate
- Memory Palace: construct a building in the mind to walk through it in an imaginary
sense and retrieve information (childhood homes, architectural digest, etc.)
- spatial/visual
- Peter of Ravenna
Memory: Spacial and Visual
- hunter/gatherer age
- having memory linked to geography, space, and travel for survival
- terrain
- personal spaces
- faces
- we are much better at recognizing/remembering faces rather than remembering the
- brain was built for remembering images and space
- link a picture to idea/memory/name
Epic Poems of Rajasthan, India
- oral tradition, only exists in memory
- Bhopas: memorizes thousands of stanzas, wandering villages reciting these epic
poems (Mahabharata, Dev Narayan), train themselves to memorize
- thought to be receptacles of messages from God
- Shaman like properties
- 1950’s: anthropologists thought to teach young Bhopas to read to see if it would
improve their memorization of the poem but it worked the opposite and their ability to
read diminished their spoken word communication/ caused them to memorize slower
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