Friday, June 1, 2012

History of Communication Lecture

What sets humans apart from animals is our ability to use language, which is the basis of all communication. It goes so far as to influence how we view the world. Even the most remote and primitive tribes have spoken languages. Something that stuck with me from this class was the idea that through language, we create inner maps of the world that guide us. The first written language, called cuneiform, came from the Sumerians in Mesopotamia in 3500 BCE. Communication continued to develop over time: the Semites invented the first alphabet in 1500 BCE, and the Greeks invented their own in 700 BCE. Systems for mathematics also developed around this time. In the 1450's, Gutenberg invented the printing press with movable type, making it easier to produce books. In the 19th century, the industrial revolution laid the groundwork for mass communication and mass media. Electricity also helped the development of communication. Given all that has happened since the dawn of the computer age, one has to wonder just how far communication will progress in our lifetime.

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