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Lecture 10

Communications Lecture 10.docx

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Communication Studies
Ghislain Thibault

The audience may be “active” in some ways when watching TV; but interactivity remains limited. -Mcluhan would say, you are watching the box, not the content, you are watching the medium not the message. With the ride of mass society, entertainment can be key, people coming together in collectivity which is the birth of mass consumption. At first we thought this mass was passive, sitting there reacting to stimulus. In 60’s ad 70’s, audience is active because they can make their own choices, they are decoding the messages in their own way, not always the way the marketers or producers intended. “New” Media  Term became popular in the mid-1990’s  The convergence of computing technologies and communication technologies. Digitization and Networks  Interactivity and production rather than passivity and reception (hypermedia and network culture replacing mass media and mass culture- we are trying to leave the mass media and the mass culture)  It signals a change in the realm of media, portraying the “mass media” as somewhat “old media” (while it is in fact a remediation of older media forms) Convergence  When did the computer become a communication device? (computer = computing technology + communication technologies)  The computer was originally just created to be a computing machine, a calculating machine  The Control Revolution: defining how computers came to be used o The beginnings of the scientific management of production: the need for control o Imagine you’re a baker, you buy your flour from across the street, you eggs are from a farm down the road, you get money when you sell your cake and you buy more ingredients. As we move onto mass processes, we have new needs for computation, and the telegraph to market and move your goods o We have too much information to work with o We need to manage production, distribution and consumption o Machines became the answer to how to control the above 3 processes o “One great advantage which we may derive from machinery is from the check which is affords against the inattention, the idleness, or the dishonesty of human agents.” (Babbage) – 1791-1871 o Punch Cards  Census used to take 10 years to calculate, with the punch card this time was reduced to 2 years. This saved the US government 5 million dollars at the time.  Tabulating Machine Co. (1896) is created by Herman Hollerith, and will later merge with the Computing Scale Company (1911) to finally become the Computing Tabulating Recording Company, and the International Business Machine Corporation (IBM)  He needed to sell his machine to more than the government, census’ were to common.  Not selling a material good necessarily, they are selling information  IBM slogan: THINK  The rise of the “information society” and the military- industrial complex  Were not paying you to create something, I’m paying you to THINK  Not only private companies were asking for calculating machines, the government too, hence the military- industrial complex (Ie. If the plane is going to drop a bomb do I want to shoot now, what timing, what angle, so they turned to IBM to compute this information quickly)  First computer for this purpose “Harvard Mark 1” Ordered in 1937 by the US Navy for ballistic trajectories calculations of airplanes from IBM – delivered in 1944.  It’s a calculator  The countries were competing to see who could create the better computer. It was also being used to encode messages (Cold war – spies)  Post War: moving from military to more broad usage  Computers used to be called “Giant Brains”-extension of the brain. They were huge!  Speed increased  Government owned  Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) and information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) are created by the US so as to allow them to stay ahead of other countries in information technologies The ARPA began feeding money into universities which were all working on different computers in different ways. So some people are working on the same things but not together (inefficient). The idea of linking computers emerged in the 1970’s within ARPA for this, and 2 other reasons: 1. 2. “Centralized (regulated radio), decentralized (radio) and distributed networks (internet).” Packet-Switching: breaking data into small packets and sending them through he network using the best available path (bass of the internet)-breaking data into ‘bits,’ a binary digit. 8 bits=1 bytes. Kilobytes megabytes etc. Generally speaking, symbols represent ideas (such as love) while signs represent things or concrete actions (such as a tree) All human communication involves symbols and signs. Both are organized in systems called “codes.” In computers, everything is translated into 0’s and 1’s. Pictures, writing, sound, all come together in one code! “digitizing information consists in encoding it into numbers. Nearly all information can be encoded this way. Moreover, all numbers can be expressed in binary language, consisting of 1’s and 0’s” This means that all information can ultimately be represented in binary fo
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