A History of Communications : Media and Society from the by Marshall T. Poe

By Marshall T. Poe

A background of Communications advances a conception of media that explains the origins and impression of other kinds of verbal exchange - speech, writing, print, digital units and the web - on human background within the long-term. New media are 'pulled' into frequent use via huge historic developments and those media, as soon as in common use, 'push' social associations and ideology in predictable instructions. This view permits us to determine for the 1st time what's actually new concerning the web, what's now not, and the place it's taking us.

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2. Privacy → Segmentation → Closure + Privatism. The more private a medium, the more segmented its network; the more segmented a network, the more social practices realized in it will be closed. The link between segmentation and closure is established by the innate human desire to conceal: if humans can easily use a medium to remove certain activities from public gaze – to privatize them – they will, and will establish corresponding social practices. Segmentation facilitates hiding. In segmented networks, therefore, we should see multiple private social practices and an ideology – privatism – that justifies them.

But, as Dessalles shows, that just isn’t so. When we come across a relevant fact, we automatically notice it and remember it. We may even be impelled to investigate it despite considerable danger. But the force of our mental compulsion to be relevant does not end there. Once we have a relevant fact in our possession, we cannot help but relate it to someone. The fact that humans will speak reflexively is widely known, but reflexive speaking is usually understood to be limited to physically or emotionally prompted outbursts.

Different historical terrains – in our case media networks – either facilitate or impede the fulfillment of those needs. According to whether they do the one or the other, different social practices will emerge. Marx also said something clever about the relationship between social practices and values. ”27 What he’s saying, inter alia, is that what we actually do in relation to others determines to a large extent what we think we should do. This is exactly the reverse of what most people think about the relationship between actions and values.

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