Intro to Comm and a Social Force

Intro to Comm and a Social Force - Communications...

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Communications Revolution 01:03 Communications Revolution. . Discontinuity in systems of connection for the exchange and transfer of  meanings (information) and materials Technology Driven? Technological Determinism Is Technology an ‘Agent of Change’ and does it drive Communications  Revolutions? Communications Revolutions Technology Institutions Socially Constructed Human Agents ‘Structure’ and ‘Agency’ “Human beings make their own history, but they do not make it exactly as they  please. They make it from conditions that are given and transmitted from the  past.”  - Karl Marx, 18 th  Brumair o human beings make choices, but we make them within a context. Communications Revolution as Social Force What happens to society when systems of connection for the exchange and  transfer of goods and information exhibit dramatic change? o “Beef Loving Nation Slide” o How did we become this? o 90% of us would not think of eating meat as a communications problem. o It’s about trying to come to grips with who we are. Technology
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Telegraph and Railroad technology on how they caused us to be a beef loving  nation. . Institutions (Government) Problem that stems through the gov. Institutions (Markets) Markets and their boundaries. . Expanded Human Agency “I was determined to eradicate the waste of producing and selling fresh beef  which had passed through the hands of too many middle men against which  too many charges had accumulated” -1890 o modern concept. . like michael dell’s approach to computers. Swift’s target was family butchers. . small scale butchers. o Middle men. . o Put them out of business. Communication Infrastructure and Society  (1850-1900) A chart that shows how the infrastructure grew in conjunction with Urban  Population and Number of Cities with population >10,000 o Juxtaposed with meat packing output. Government subsidies in money and land. If you want to stretch telegraph lines. . you need the government to guarantee  private property rights. In 1850, there were ~400 telegraph companies. Like in 1998, every ad for the superbowl was for a .com. o They all went out of business. Standardization 
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o Sometimes it’s established by companies, but other times its done by the  government. . o 1870, there were 2000 time zones. You couldn’t run a train with so many timezones. . Trains crashed into one another.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course COSF 100 taught by Professor Fields during the Winter '08 term at UCSD.

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Intro to Comm and a Social Force - Communications...

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