Lecture 5: Technological Origins


Communications technology

Cultural politics of information


McClune’s Tetrad



Communications technology vs social media platform

Social media platforms of communications technology, typically digital mediations of telegraphy and videotelephony



Communications Technology vs Social Media Platform

Communications Technology is a tool that enables (facilitates social information exchange) interaction

Social Media Platform allows exchange of information, allows receiving transmissions and hosts and coordinates



Harold Innis

Develops several important communication theories related to his staples thesis- an economic theory, staples (necessities) are tradable commodity.

If your media is only durable media then it does not appeal to those who can only use aural media and then your media falls by the wayside


Media bias



The effect of the medium occurs independent of the content it transmits

The medium is the message

This isn’t to say that content isn’t important but that its effects are of a different scope and variety

A medium establishes a paradigm- a technical culture determined by the attributes of its primary media forms


Tele- far

Graph- symbol

Telegraph- far or distance symbol


Republic of Letters emerges in the 17th and 18th century

Arts culture and such start developing because people can send letters


Think about why all

Telegraph retrieved the semaphore


Transmission also brought about profound shifts in power dynamics: think of it like a railroad system


Telegraph routes follow trade routes, kind of replaces it


The attributes of transmission signaling at a distance are technologically and culturally dependent and change throughout history

When it comes to transmission of information, container (form) may be fungible, but reception is context specific




Technology is determining the way humans interact


Review Technological determinism


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