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Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Lunar Phase, Oral Tradition, Movable Type

Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
MIT 2000F/G
Daniel Robinson
Study Guide

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Lecture 1 Oral Society
Some Psychodynamics of Orality Ong
Sound is evanescent; no trace of it after its gone
Oral traditions greatly rooted in creating mnemonic patterns to make things memorable
Communication is crucial allows for progression of thought,
People who recited stories considered intelligent
Using words gives us power
Interpreting Aboriginal Cultures Friesen
Dominant mode of communication for Aboriginals is speech
Time and space vary depending on the society in which they are experienced
Literacy and Christianity constituted a powerful change to Aboriginal culture.
Ecological time: Coincides with the solar and lunar cycle and the seasons
Structural time: Marks the passing of generations and explains the interaction of groups within
Empire and Communications Innis
Empires are most successful with the balance of time and space biased medias because it allows
for the best control
Correlation between gov’t and communications
The past has an impact on the future
Space biased medias are centralized (concrete under a single authority), less hierarchical,
everyone operating under the same authority.
Time biased medias are decentralized, favours hierarchical types of institutions, represents the
control of time.
Time Biased Media: social hierarchy, communal, doesn’t travel far.
Space Biased Media: large networks, does not last long, easy to make a lot, suited for wide
spread communication, overcomes space.
Lecture 2 Writing/Print Culture
Literate Revolution Havelock
The Alphabet
o Each letter had to be devoid of meaning in order to be converted to a mechanical
mnemonic device
o Importance based on what was preserved by being written down
o Multiple languages could exist
o Expansion in human knowledge
Aftermath & Limits
o Without large volume of documents to practice on, the habit of rapid reading
didn’t spread
o Because of handwriting, uniformity of script was impossible
o Western Europe had to learn to copy letter shapes in moveable type
Rise of Reading Public Eisenstein
Secularization: the historical process in which religion loses social and cultural significance
Religion was affected by the rise of print and public reading.
McLuhan’s concerns regarding the rise of print: loss of face to face contact,
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