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Lecture 5

Communications lecture 5.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Communication Studies
Ghislain Thibault

Essay Assignment / Bibliography Exam  4:40-6:20 (100 minutes)  Out of 100 points  25%  30 multiple choice (2 marks each)  10 short answer or fill in the blanks (4 marks each)  4 versions of the exam  Only worry about dates that are on the power points and know general time frames. Eg. If we are in the digital era we are not in the middle ages  2 or 3 crucial dates Sample Question: 1. According to Innis, time-biased media are a) light b) durable c) easy to move d) a and b e) a and c Who Invented the modern printing press; and when? a) Hewlett Packard (HP) in 1947 b) IBM International, 1981 c) Johannes Gutenberg around 1440 d) T;sai Lun in 105 CE e) Johannes Gutenberg, around 1247 In primary oral culture if someone wanted to remember a fact they would do which of the following? a) light a ceremonial fire b) draw a picture c) write it down on papyrus d) repeat it to his/her-self with a melody e) none of the above Short Answer: In 2-3 brief sentences, explain the relationship between the use of papyrus and the rise of empires. (2) Mention of the bias of communication by Innis (Papyrus = space based) (2) Empire are oriented towards territorial expansion (papyrus allows bureaucracy + communication over large distances) Herbert Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980)  Born in Edmonton, raised in Winnipeg  BA and MA in English Literature at the University of Manitoba  Strongly influenced by, and influences Innis  Doctorate from University of Cambridge (England, 1942) with a dissertation on literature of the Elizabethan period (1558-1603)  Quickly acquainted with a new movement in literature called the ‘new- criticism’ – instead of looking at the text for what it was they looked at the structure of the text. Eg. If they reading Shakespeare they try to forget the context of the text, and look at its structure. The structure has as much impact on the reader as the content and words themselves.  Guillaume Apollinaire: Calligrammes (1913-1916) o Words shapes into shapes (Ie. French words shaped into the Eiffel tower)  He would often take fliers from grocery stores, and say analyze this. Because Shakespeare isn’t important, it does not relate to our society  1947: he introduced communications studies department  A lot of people said he had no methodology and was not scientific. Not a lot of empirical basis to his work , rather intuition  People refer to this school of though as the “Canadian Mind” or “Toronto literature”  In mechanical bride (1951) he offers a critique of fragmentation, commercialization and mechanization, consequences of mass media.  In The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) and Understanding Media (1964) he revisits media studies and media history.  He was very unorthodox, borderline poetic, style.  He called his proposals “probes” and used flashy slogans, provocative aphorisms that are known today as “McLuhans” (he said catchy phrases again and again until they caught on) Eg. The medium is the Massage (not message) – Eg these media are massaging our senses. He meant these literally or the Medium is the “Mess-Age.”  “McLuhans” o If it works, its obsolete o No, not rich, a poor man with money which is not the same thing o I don’t necessarily agree with everything I say  Google video footage of him on cbc shows where he explinas his different theories of media Review! Kinda.. The Gutenberg Galaxy – McLuhan’s Books  Revisits question of media history  For McLuhan, human history is divided into four epochs o Phase 1: Orality  Social Form; the village or the tribe  Tribal society organized around collectivity  The individual was not important, it was the community that was important  “I never look back, it distracts from the now” – the past didn’t exists, there was only there and then o Phase 2: Rise of the phonetic alphabet and the scribal tradition  Social Form: the empire, with expanding territories  Emphasizes Individualization (community matters less) o Phase 3: The Gutenberg revolution and the print culture  Came from different traditions but takes place in Europe  Europe moves from Middle ages to modernity or “the resonance”  Printing from moveable types was the first mechanization for complex handicraft, and became the archetype of all subsequent mechanization. By inventing the press we planted the seed of the industrialization, it was the first machine.  The nation state is the social form Knowledge starts to circulate and was start to create men of letters  The individual starts being more and more rational and scientific  Silent Reading (Walter ong): gave people time to reflect and stay away from the community  Im o Phase 4: The electric Age (means of communication are being invented and diffused at an unheard of rate)  Second Orality  Very hard to describe  “The last thing a fish would notice is water”  The dominant social form of the electric age is yet to come  This dominant form is a “global village” McLuhan: Map to introduce McLuhan; theories we use in media studies  Media are extensions of ourselves: Media is auxiliaries of one’s presence in time and space  The medium is the message (Part of Visual Culture) o The wheel is an extension of the book o Book- extension of the eye o Clothing – extinction of the skin o Electric Circuitry – extinction of the circulatory system o The media – the birds eye view camera is an extension of my capacity to see. It changes one’s experience of the game. Person sitting in back of stadium at superbowl vs. someone who gets a close up view at home? o Electric Media – extension of our nervous system  Global Village (Secondary Orality)  Hot and Cool Media (Screen Culture) Medium is the Message McLuhan  Media: extensions/prosthesis  Media act like artificial prostheses that augment or even replace one or more senses or organs. These extensions allow perceptions outside the realm of “normal” functioning of the human body  The more the media is able to do things we can’t do (google) making us feel inferior  Extrasomatic memory “Tele”- means “far,” or “over a distance”  tele-graph= graph (writing)- tele (over a distance)  tele-phony = speaking over a distance  tele-pathy = thinking over a distance  tele-vision = seeing over a distance Electric Age  the rise of the first telecommunications systems (extending communication over space)  1835 – end of the industrial revolution (tele-graph)  “The growth of the tele-graph network was in fact nothing short of explosive; it grew so fast the it was almost impossible to keep track of its size. Telegraph  **** Important Date****** 1835: First telegraph system (Samuel Morse-idea was there but he produced)  A new code! Transmits word in the form of electrical impulses (the Morse Code) – lots of public confusion since they didn’t know how it worked  Change in medium – clay- papyrus – paper – wire and electrical impluses  Spectacular spread and adoption of the innovation  Marks the separation between transportation and communication (to communicate, the message could never go faster than the messenger. Eg. Letters must be spent) (In the electric telegraph, one could communicate faster than they could transport)  Dematerialization of communication  Re-organized commerce (see Mass culture) o Talked about later in lecture o Arbitrage: the strategy my which merchants purchase things at a lower price in one place and sell them for a higher price in another o The telegraph evened prices because one could have an idea of what the market value of the goods (Ie. In New york were selling apples for 1 dollar a pound, and your selling them for 90 cents, so raise your price) o Telegraph was used by business people more than common people o It was used for commerce (just like the tokens were created
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