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Communication Studies
Ghislain Thibault

Communications 100  The content of one medium is always the content of another  SMACK the slow media association of Canada, Kitchener  What does the medium enhance/allow?  What does the medium make obsolete/useless?  What does the medium retrieve that had been obsolesced earlier  The Laws of media o Instagram retrieves analog photography o Instagram obsoletes family photo albums o Instagram enhances networking o Instagram reverses into information overload when pushed to the extreme o The washing machine retrieves antiseptic house o The washing machine obsoletes scrub board and tub o The washing machine enhances speed of doing laundry o When pushed to extreme it makes continuous laundry  Media in Antiquity Lecture 2 o What is communication?  To share divide out, impart inform, join, to make common. Communication is an exchange of information and messages such as ideas, stories, emotions, information, news  Intermediaries- umbrella is protecting human from the rain acting as a medium  Media is understood as extension of human presence in time and space  Difference between human and animal  Through language signs and symbols- liberation from time and space  Through tools- extension of the human body itself  Symbols are things whose special meaning allows us to conceive express and communicate ideas- using signs and symbols to represent the word because the use of symbols is a characteristic of human behaviour  Symbols are learned, ephemeral-trends to giving meaning to an object-YOLO, arbitrary  Signs and symbols is not that for which it stands it means something, it has significance  Signs refers to object or concept  Symbols represent ideas  From Concrete to Abstract  The tallies translate concrete information into abstract marking  Removed data from their context  Separated knowledge from the knower  All human communication involves symbols and signs both are organized in systems called “codes’  The token system: Earliest precursor of writing  Symbols were used for commerce  Token system was first code, system of signs used for transmitting information, the token system was transmitted as a full-fledged code from community to community spreading throughout the entire near east with each token from preserving the same meaning  Early token (9000-15000 BCE)  Writing resulted in a way of doing commerce  Neolithic symbolic system  It was simple  The code allowed new performances in data processing  Writing was invented in Sumer to keep tallies and to make lists and hence was the beginning of mathematics  Writing on Stone balls to Stone Tablets  First form of writing Cuneiform writing was characterized by triangles and parallel lines  Literate culture: Writing o The origins of writing  Liberation from time and space to communicate with symbols and signs  No distinction between a newspaper or a car to go to work: both are media, car is an extension of legs for walking  From tokens to pictograms to formal patterns  Tokens-from concrete to abstract  Tokens are difficult for large transactions, too many tokens  Tablet was invented with pictograms-cuneiform writing  From pictograph to formal patterns- patterns to represent the objects instead of a picture of the object itself  Clay tablets were used for states of Sumer for  Legal contracts, deeds of sale, land transfer, inventories, accounts of temples  Invented writing to count not to communicate with others  Historical records- war documentation, amount of soldiers  Propaganda-political discourse  Immortality  Predictions of the future- Mayan calendar ended in 2012- end of world- used to predict the future  Signature  Accountancy- count to keep records  Three writing systems: Pictographic, logographic, phonographic o Pictogram- pictorial representations of concrete objects. Pictogram resembles the object it represents- ice age, Egyptian hieroglyphs o Logographic- writing a logo- Chinese symbols  A sign or character representing a word-does not represent for that which it is o Phonographic- writing sound-languages  A symbol representing a vocal sound (such as the alphabet)  Modern hieroglyphs are striking back  Primary orality o Sound based o Info did not have visual presence o Preserved info through memory o Sound is evanescent- sound disappears o Pneumonic patters- rhyming, alliteration  How people received news o Oral culture- through oral mouth o Literate culture- newspaper o Secondary oral culture- listening to the news on the radio, tv. Switched back to oral culture through the new media mediums we have today New lecture  Secondary orality- return of oral culture with writing-telephone, radio  The Toronto school of Communication o Scholars who are sharing their work o Innis and mcluhan o Innis was working on natural resources in Canada- railway system  Born in Otterville Ontario thesis on the Canadian pacific railroad  Realized the railway system downtown is by transporting locations distributing goods and delivering information -rivers, railways  Resources that are available effect the social infrastructure which impacts communication  Large scale political organizations such as empires must be considered from the standpoint of two dimensions of space and time.  Empires persist by overcoming the bias of media which overemphasizes either dimension  Tend to flourish under the conditions in which the civilization reflects the influence of more than one medium in which the bias of one medium towards decentralization  Time  Time based media seeks to transience time.  Heavy durable such as clay and stone  Long lifespan persist in time but do not encourage the extension of empires  Speech is also a time based medium, speech can be passed down from generation to generation does not encourage territorial expansion- speech does not last as long as writing  Religion favor the conquest of time  Expansion of religions  Clay as a heavy material was less suited as a medium of communication over large areas.  Bias- general inclination o Space  space biased media, conversely to seek to obliterate space  light transportable and be transmitted over distances  expansion of empires over space  will not last in time- paper  roman empire favored paper  papyrus  military empires favor the conquest of space  Literacy and power o Cuneiform(Sumer) o Papyrus(Egypt) o Alphabet(Ancient Greece) o Writing for bureaucracy (Roman Empire)  Keeping records + administration  Did not persist time o Invention of Paper (China) o Literacy in the middle ages 5 -15 century CE  Reserved for the elites, monks and priests within the church  Clergy exercised authority over non-religious affairs (Land Distribution) as well as religious affairs. Literacy-power  Invention of printing o The spread of printing and the accessory arts which it depends, is one that wove into a single web the culture of the East and West with each part contributing its share to the final product o Tsai Lun- credited with the invention of paper  Modern printing press invented in 1440`s by Johannes gutenburg  Print was the major cultural technological transformation in the history of the west  Print broke the class monopoly of written word  Moveable type  Casted metal (Type) was topped with the embossment of one letter of the alphabet they were distributed in large cases and were used to reproduce pages of text  Each printer has its own moulds or fonts o The printing revolution is regarded as a major historical event that marked the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the first phase of modern times, Renaissance  Missed lecture Lecture 5 Intro to Media Invention of printing press The effects of mechanical printing 1. Standardization and mechanization of writing 1. elimination of craftsmanship 2. broke the class monopoly 3. rise of a reading public ("men of letters") and of news publication (pg 26-77) (78, 83-84)  religious and political elites own printing monopoly  Move from craft to mechanized construction  no one writes the same, easy to identify a signature  Fonts are standardized "Printing from movable types was the first mechanization of a complex handicraft, and became the archetype of all subsequent mechanization." EX: first step towards the industrial revolution(printing press) (pg 84) Eisenstein  literacy a value was individuality( read a book its by yourself, you don't communicate with others, it is highly individualistic) By its very nature, a reading public was not only dispersed; it was almost more atomistic and individualist than a hearing one." BUT "even while solidarity was diminished, vicarious participation in more distant events was also enhanced; and even while local ties were loosened, links to a larger collective units were being forged. 1.) The Toronto School of Communication, part 2 Mcluhan  Mcluhan is known for his unorthodox, borderline poetic, style  He called his proposals "probes" and used flashy slogans, provocative aphorisms that are known today  Metaphor of the telegraph as an extension of the "nervous system" (pg127)  What was the metaphor (EXAM QUESTION)  metaphor for internet is connected intelligence In Mechanical Bride (1951) he offers a critique of fragmentation, commercialization, and mechanization, consequences of mass media Telegraph, Telephone  1835 first telegraphy system (Samuel Morse)  A new code! words are transmitted in the form of electrical impulses (The Morse Code)  Spectacular spread and adoption of the innovation  Marks the separation between transportation and communication The effects of the telegraphy  the decision separation of transportation and communication  the standardization of time  reorganize of commodity markets   Mcluhan- born in Edmonton, BA and MA in English literature at university of Manitoba, doctor from Cambridge university 1942, taught at Wisconsin university, became professor at st.micheals college, university of Toronto, became director of the centre for culture and techonology  Mechanical bridge 1951 offers a critique of fragmentation, commercialization and mechanization, consequences of mass media  The Gutenburg galaxy, mcluhan looks at history from the perspective of media and divided into 4 epochs o Phase 1: Orality o Phase 2: Literacy: phonetic alphabet and scribal tradition o Phase 3:The Gutenberg revolution and print o Phase 4: The electric age  Media are extensions of man  The medium is the message  The world has become a global village  Electric circuitry: an extension of the central nervous system  Media act like artificial prostheses that augment or replace one or more sense or organs, these extensions allow perceptions outside the realm of normal function of the human body  Effects of telegraph o Separation of transportation and communication o Standardization of time o Reorganize of commodity markets from space to time the commodity becomes a symbol o Early globalization  Not only can information move independently and be faster than physical entities but it can also be a simulation of and control mechanism for what has been left behind   Telephone o First telephone created by Alexander Bell (1876) o Started as a simple two point communication o Structured around the monopoly of bell telephone companies o First telephone subscribers: physicians, business men New Lecture  Mass Culture: Mass Media  Telephone: 1876 first telephone system Alexander G Bell  Started as a simple two point communications  Structured around the monopoly of bell telephone companies  First telephone subscribers- business men, doctors  Functions of telephone had to be explained  Telegraph and telephone annihilated time and space  The industrial revolution 1780-1860 o Unprecedented urbanization o Development of railways and transportation o Standardization of time- o Mass production of goods o Creation of factories and assembly lines  Printing from movable types was the first mechanization of complex handicraft and became the archetype of all subsequent mechanization o Marx’s criticism of capitalism: the abstraction of the product out of the real conditions of production o Domestic modes of production give way to the separation of capital and work (labor) o Expertise is now in the hands of the machine not the person o From products to commodities  After object is abstracted out of the real conditions of its production and use and is transported to distant markets standardized and graded and represented by fully contingent symbols, it is made available as a commodity  From merchandise that fulfills a physical need to merchandise that fulfill the desires and fantasies of our imagination  The Rise of The Mass o The new “Reading Public” made possible by the printing press: anonymous-scattered readership o The new indefinite populaces merging in cities as a result of urbanization CROWD o The new target of commodities consumption- Consumer Market o The new spectators to urban spectacles- Audience  Mass Culture and Advertisement o Mass culture creates the consumer o Newspapers arguable are the first
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