MIT 2000 Midterm Review 1.docx

79 views61 pages
Published on 19 Apr 2013
School
Western University
Department
Media, Information and Technoculture
Course
Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G
Professor
1
Week 1: Oral Society
Communication History in Canada
Ong, “Some Psychodynamics of Orality” (p. 5-9)
Without writing, words have no visual presence
A primary oral culture values sounds; however, sound is temporary once you say
something, it is gone there is no holding onto that action once they are uttered, they
disappear
o This gives sound a special relationship to time you cannot stop and keep sound
like your eyes can stop and keep words
o Some phrases do not make sense in an oral society (i.e., to “look something up”
would be to “recall something”)
Words have great power; sound is dynamic (constant change)
o “Sound cannot be sounding without the use of power.” (pg. 6)
o A hunter can see, smell, touch and taste a buffalo but if he hears a buffalo, he
better watch out (in this sense, sound is dynamic)
Oral peoples think of names as conveying power over things
o Ex: Adam naming all animals
o Naming gives human beings power over what they name without learning various
names, one is powerless to understand
o Chirographic and typographic people think of names as labels/tags affixed to an
object oral people have no sense of a name as being a tag they have no sense of
a name as something that can be seen
“Written or printed representations of words can be labels; real, spoken
words cannot be.” (pg. 6)
Restricting words to just sounds determines thought processes (not only modes of
expression)
o Can recall information from the past very easily
o In the absence of writing, there is nothing outside the thinker (text) to enable one
to produce the same line of thought again or even verify if its been done before
Therefore, “Sustained thought in an oral culture is tied to communication.”
(pg. 6)
o To recall: Must think of memorable thoughts in mnemonic patterns your thoughts
must come into being in heavily rhythmic balanced patterns (repetitions,
alliterations, etc.)
Mnemonic also determine syntax (grammar)
To think through something without pattern would be a waste of time
could never be recovered with any effectiveness as it could be with writing
o Oral societies must invest time to repeat what they have learned
Therefore, intellect and knowledge is highly regarded and valued societies
value wise old men and women In today’s written culture, print
downgrades the importance of old men and women and favours young
discoverers of something new
Friesen, “Interpreting Aboriginal Cultures” (pg. 21-29)
Harold Innis: ‘Aboriginal people are fundamental to the growth of Canadian institutions’
o Aboriginal politics and culture makes them fundamental to Canada
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 61 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
2
o Their dominant mode of communication was speech
Aboriginals value continuity (“historical connectedness” pg. 22)
First Nations people experienced basic dimensions of time and space in terms of their
relation to the natural world
o Time and space vary depending on the society and era they experience
o Time is a very specific thing (minutes, seconds, etc.), but space is very vague
because we can surpass its limitations
Time is also subject to revisions in stories-not fixed/absolute
Traditional societies use everyday calculations of time built on natural occurrences
o First Nations people understood time in ecological and structural (generational)
terms rather than calendric terms
Ex: They used temporal units rather than spatial units to measure canoe
routes, etc.
Ecological Time Solar and Lunar Cycles
Structural Time Passing of Generations
Aboriginals used significant events in marking days not absolute time in a cycle
Another approach: Creating links between the reality of everyday and the spiritual reality as
mythic
o Ex: Story about a man who stayed with foxes for 20 days and then was able to speak
to them and catch them whenever he wanted
Links reality and spirituality
Living in mythic rather than historic time these two often got interwoven
and indecipherable
Different cultures shape the environment according to different principles
Telling stories and making speeches are among the most valued arts in aboriginal cultures
o Certain rituals convey messages
Ex: A child’s first hunt, etc.
Today, people try to understand what the Aboriginal signs meant to gain an understanding
of our heritage
Characteristics of Aboriginal Culture:
1. Culture constructed on dimension of time
2. Unity of humans, animals, and natural universe as an accessible link between this
world and a dream trail
3. Relied on the land
“These three points, which emphasize the role of the land in traditional
culture and the unity of experience between this world and another,
constitute fundamental characteristics of a perception of time and space
that differ from the conventional perceptions today” (pg. 27).
4. Human interactions within these distinctive time-space dimensions occurred in
known locations
o Aboriginals relied on the spoken word today, religious perspectives rely on the
spoken word
o Aboriginals did not receive print well (because they were all about story telling)
This European impact negatively affected their culture
o “Aboriginal Radicals” wanted to embrace literacy, as they saw the bible was a way
to communicate with God (believed that the priests were communicating through
the bible)
Literacy and Christianity challenged Aboriginal Cultures
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 61 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
3
o Used “like weapons within them.” (pg. 28)
However, Aboriginal culture (orality as a dominant mode of
communication) is not completely gone it has been vanquished, not
completely destroyed.
Why? Because their belief in an unbroken chain between the
past and present still remains
Innis, “Empire and Communications” (pg. 35-39)
Difficult to indicate the effects of the development of the pulp and paper industry because
of the late development and complexity of the problem concentration on staple products
has involved problems not only in the supply area but also in the demand area
Concerned with the use of certain tools that proved to be effective in the interpretation of
economic history of Canada and the British Empire
Order: Clay and papyrus, then parchment, then paper
Commutation=curtail part in the function of a government
o For a government to be effective communication must efficient
o “The effective government of large areas depends to a very important extent on the
efficiency of communication.” (pg. 37)
The concepts of space and time reflect the significance of media to civilization
Innis’ study leads to applying the dimensions of time and space to various forms of
communication, and the subsequent effects of the various forms of media on society and
societal structures
o Media that emphasize time: Time-binding media was durable (i.e., parchment,
clay and stone); but covered little space suited to the development of
architecture and sculpture.
Materials that emphasize time favour decentralization and hierarchical
types of institutions
Ex: Time-biased media = consistent and stable over a long
period of time
o Media that emphasizes space: Space-binding media was more
impermanent/temporary, light and less durable (i.e., papyrus and paper):
covered long distances but did not withstand the tests of time)
Materials that emphasize space favour centralization and systems of
government less hierarchical in character
Ex: Space-biased media = captured a large audience, eliminates
spare barriers/far reaching yet changes regularly (newspaper,
internet).
Time biased society vs. Space biased society
o These are important barriers to overcome
o The key is the issue of communication Remember that it is a bias, not an
absolute
o Innis concluded that this was one of the factors that help empires to sustain
themselves because they had a central system of knowledge-they kept
everything centralized in one area
We can conveniently divide the history of the West into two periods; the writing period and
the printing period
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 61 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Document Summary

Without writing, words have no visual presence. Words have great power; sound is dynamic (constant change: sound cannot be sounding without the use of power. (pg. 6: a hunter can see, smell, touch and taste a buffalo but if he hears a buffalo, he better watch out (in this sense, sound is dynamic) Written or printed representations of words can be labels; real, spoken words cannot be. (pg. Restricting words to just sounds determines thought processes (not only modes of expression: can recall information from the past very easily. In the absence of writing, there is nothing outside the thinker (text) to enable one to produce the same line of thought again or even verify if its been done before. Therefore, sustained thought in an oral culture is tied to communication. (pg. 6: to recall: must think of memorable thoughts in mnemonic patterns your thoughts must come into being in heavily rhythmic balanced patterns (repetitions, alliterations, etc. )

Get OneClass Grade+

Unlimited access to all notes and study guides.

YearlyMost Popular
75% OFF
$9.98/m
Monthly
$39.98/m
Single doc
$39.98

or

You will be charged $119.76 upfront and auto renewed at the end of each cycle. You may cancel anytime under Payment Settings. For more information, see our Terms and Privacy.
Payments are encrypted using 256-bit SSL. Powered by Stripe.