Lecture 2: Early Comm History: Social Impacts of Writing

Lecture 2: Early Comm History: Social Impacts of Writing -...

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Lecture 2 Early Communication History: The Social Impacts of Writing 0. 0. Writing created a social division: readers vs. illiterates 0. Readers could pass knowledge to each other across time and space 1. Illiterates depended on the literates for stored knowledge 1. Power could be channeled through knowledge 2. Encouraged birth and growth of ancient empires 2. Empires required stored knowledge, accounting and other tracking systems 3. Collective knowledge accumulates over time 3. “development” of ideas, inventions, literature can occur much more quickly 4. Laws can be codified and universally administered 5. Authorship/ownership can be traced A Brief History of Books 0. Early Forms 0. The earliest paper was developed around 3000 BC. It was made from papyrus, a reed that grew in ancient Egypt alongside the Nile. 0. Papyrus gave way to parchment, which was made from dried animal skins. Parchment was extremely durable, which is why some ancient books survived until modern times. 1. Around the time of the ancient Greeks, several Asian cultures, including the Chinese, the Koreans, and the Japanese, were fashioning books printed on rice paper with carved, reusable wooden blocks. Writing During the Dark Ages
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6. 6. Begins with fall of Rome in the 6 th century 7. Demand for books continues to rise, but . . . 8. Slow, costly hand-copying restricts supplies 9. Mistakes are common and cumulative 1. No filing or cross-indexing system in place 2. Content moves from religion to lay areas 3. Trade spreads, universities begin, AD 1150 4. 4. European Scriptorias (writing shops) flourish, under control of Roman Catholic Church 0. Denial of a rumor was difficult, if not impossible. 1. Experience counted the most; the elderly had been around the longest, and their memories tended to be the authority on customs, disputes and practices. 2. Dialect in one community could be incomprehensible 50 miles away. 3. Church was main source of information. News of outside world came from church. 4. Laws and customs were passed on by word of mouth 5. Pictures were used to communicate. What is Entertainment? 0. Entertainment relies on the brain – 1. Intelligence, skill and memory are needed to do well 2. Games 3. Riddles A slowly changing world 4. Passage of time marked by memorable events. In the villages, by seasonal activity - “at harvest time” 5. Months were measured approximately, since the seasons changed from year to year
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6. Today's judicial system has many of the trappings and remnants of medieval life. Witnesses are “heard,” Charges are “read,” the court “hears” evidence. Live witnesses are preferred over statements. A slow-moving world
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course COMM 101 taught by Professor Mcdonald during the Fall '07 term at Ohio State.

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Lecture 2: Early Comm History: Social Impacts of Writing -...

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