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Lecture 4

CS100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Mathematical Notation, Human Condition, OralityPremium

4 pages68 viewsWinter 2018

Department
Communication Studies
Course Code
CS100
Professor
Jade Miller
Lecture
4

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Week 4 (January 29th, 2018) Civilization without Writing
The Incas and the Quipu (complex)
Marcia Ascher and Robert Ascher
Telegraph uses transmission on/off signal to send messages
Syntax
o Complex
o Cuneiform uses complex syntax
o Example of poem written with incorrect syntax intentionally (words in order)
Quipu is very much the same way more complex (where the strings fall means
something)
Incan, Sumerian, Egyptian scribes (Ascher reading describes these)
o Ia sie 3’s-6’s AD
o Sumerian clay scribe (2700-1700 BC)
o Egyptian papyrus scribe (2700-1700 BC)
Whenever there is conqueror or an emerged empire, you have to have a system of
writing that emerges
Bureaucracy
o The oe eods thee ae, ad the oe ueaua has epeiee ith
them, the moe poe to the state – clear that they are saying bureaucracy
enables power (writing enables power you need to rule an empire)
o Whenever an empire comes about, a new writing system must come about
Why? The idea of bureaucracy there is more to keep track of
Quipu vs Writing
o Color hundreds (quipu) vs none (Sumer) or two (black and red in Egypt)
o No instruments, just fingers and string vs a stylus
You just look he eadig, ou do’t use the sese of touh eeptio
of Braille)
o Both need learned skill, quipu skill more sensitive (more training to learn it)
o Tactile vs sighted reading
o Quipu not linear 3D
Beig oueed does’t ea the ae less
Origins of Writing Andrew Robinson
itig is aogst the geatest ietios i hua histo, pehaps the greatest
ietio sie it ade histo possile
Propaganda kig of the old
o Get message and information out there no broken telephone
Immortality/history focus of Robinson
o Everyone dies twice
o Many people who have not died their second death (we still have their history in
writing, not forgotten yet)
Record-keeping
Agreements on record
o Want to be able to prove statements in writing
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