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Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G
David Spencer

ORALSOCIETYSome Psychodynamics of Orality Ong 5Primary oral cultureno knowledge of writing Words are occurrences eventsSound has a special relationship to time exists only when its going out of existence No way to stop sound Vision can display immobilityLanguage is a mode of action not just a countersign of thoughtAll sounds dynamicspoken sounded power drivenNames convey power over thingswithout knowing names youre powerlessChriographic and typographicnames as labelsOral folk have no sense of names as tagscannot be seen only spokenNo textsno way to produce same thought as beforeSustained thought tied to communicationHave to do thinking in mnemonic patternshighly rhythmic Law is enshrined in formulaic sayings proverbsExperience is intellectualized mnemonically Invest energy in repeating sayingsSociety highly regards wise old men and women Writing and print downgrade the figures of the wiseWritingfrees mind from memory workStorytelling always differentmany variationsReligious practices beliefs change Interpreting Aboriginal Cultures Friesen 21Aboriginal people fundamental to growth of Canadian institutions through culture and politics Harold InnisDominant mode of communication was speechHistorically connected convey authority Assertion of Aboriginal sense of self and sense of placeIn the modern age time seems to be a fixed measure of not quite infinite proportions Space is more vague seems definitivecan transcend the limitations of spaceTime and space vary on the society and time period Ecological time based on seasons natureStructural time marks the passing of generations interaction of groupsBelieve history is what can be foretoldOnes sense of time is subject to revisionAboriginal people use days and seasons to measure ecological time The Blackfoot winter count associate each year with a memorable eventPainted event on buffalo hide Huron and Blackfoot different versions of time Links the reality of the everyday and the spiritual realityLive in past and present Space as nature and land creatures take on human characteristicsMaps measured in time rather than spatial unitsIgnored distinction between river portage and trail Part of a single communication networkDream mapRepresentation of animal trails and other resourcesSketch of the path to eternityCulture constructed on a particular sensedimension of timeUnity of experience among humans the animal world and the rest of the natural universe Many elements in hunting were conveyed from one generation to the next through oral tradition Print duplicated a spiritual featreading the mind of a person at a distance foretelling the future Introduced to print by missionariesInvasion of literacy with Christianity From Empire and Communications Innis 35Communication occupies a crucial position in the organizationadministration of governmentCosts of navigation declinedless valuable commodities emerged Economic history of Canada Communication important to the organization of large areas Periods dominated byClay and papyrus parchment paperMedia that emphasize time are durable in character parchment clay stone Favour decentralization hierarchical types of institutions Dont control who sees it Media that emphasize space are less durable papyrus and paper Favour centralization less hierarchal governments Conquest of Egypt by Rome led to access to papyrus which became the basis of a large administrative empire Large scale political organizations empires flourish where civilization reflects the influence of one or more mediumDivide history of West into the writing and printing periods Writing period importance of media like clay papyrus parchment paper Printing period paper as a medium introduction of machinery Easy to overlook the significance of the spoken word has little tangible remainsPoetry and music significant to oral culture Hard for the writingprinting periods to understand oral culture 37Change in medium implies a change in the type of appraisalDifficult for one civilization to understand another
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