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Making Connections: Communication through the Ages di [Meadow, Charles T.]
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Making Connections: Communication through the Ages Formato Kindle

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Descrizione prodotto


Meadow takes us on a Cook's tour of communication technologies across time—the alphabet and moveable type printing, cave drawings and carrier pigeons, telephones, television and, of course, the Internet. In each case, Meadow shows how these (and other devices) are connected to each other, even as they serve to make connections between people.

Part One discusses the basics of communications, while Part Two delves into telecommunications before the days of steam and electricity. Part Three offers insight into steam, electricity, and internal combustion energy and how they revolutionized society.

Communication is the key to a productive world. For those dazzled by the pace of change in the technology or McLuhan's unorthodox but brilliant insights, Meadow's casual style and pace provide the perfect antidote.

Dettagli prodotto

  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 14573 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 382
  • Editore: Scarecrow Press (11 febbraio 2002)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • Da testo a voce: Abilitato
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2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Tools for Surviving in the Telecommunications Revolution 27 giugno 2002
Di Albert S. Tedesco - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
Making Connections is required reading for anyone seeking a clearer understanding of the old and new "mediated environments" in which human culture has been nurtured. It will be useful in courses in the social sciences, communications, history, anthropology, and marketing, and for the general reader who wants tools for cutting through the technological confusion which surrounds us.
Making Connections, as the title implies, is about the impact of communications systems on human history. But, on another level, this book is about helping the reader to "connect the dots," to form an image of what appears to the layman and expert alike to be an unfathomable telecommunications landscape.
Most of us can agree on one point: the pace of technological change, especially the convergence of media upon which we rely for indirect images of reality, is so fast that even professional viewers of that landscape have a difficult time describing what they see, no less what they think is on the horizon.
Through illustration, Meadow makes the case that evolving communications systems generate structure and this structure becomes the milieu, the growth medium, if you will, in which society and the individuals who populate it grow.
Meadow's lucid descriptions of complex information theory bring to the layman and professional reader alike, a new level of explanation that is both witty and wise, in which such concepts as the relationship between information and uncertainty, for example, become not only understandable, but available for application to everyday situations. Meadow's discussion of the complex interrelationship among symbols (data), information, and knowledge is professionally sound and very accessible to the layman. He also makes a valuable distinction between what we think of as "information overload," and the over abundance of potential information -- a distinction that addresses a rampant misconception about the true nature of information.
Meadow supports his discussions throughout the book with many verbal and visual illustrations. For example, in his discussion of language, he juxtaposes mathematical symbols and musical notation to show how these systems instantly bring to mind images of the reality they represent, no matter how abstract. Those trained to use these symbols, mathematicians and musicians in this case, can bring to bear their understanding of these symbolic systems and the rules of inference they imply, in order to get "meaning" from the text.
The book is chock full of very useful diagrams, charts, and historic photographs that illuminate the parallel evolution of human communication and the hard and, if you will, soft technology upon which it resets. The book also provides an excellent chronology of 100 dates to remember, around which teachers and students alike might easily build a semester or two of in-depth analysis.
Meadow 's distinguished career as an information scientist comes through in the authenticity of his writing. His modesty about his own contributions to this new science (he was one of the pioneers who worked on the development of ARPANet, the progenitor of the Internet) makes his writing all the more credible and valuable. As he notes, "One point some modern readers may find surprising is the role of government, and the military, in particular, in supporting both science and invention..." He should know first hand!
In his concluding section, he comments that, "The importance of technology comes from effect, not anything inherent in the technology." A simple, but pregnant statement, which directs us to appreciate the social and historic structure that communications (and transportation) technologies have, mostly with our full compliance, if not acceptance, imposed on human history. Meadow 's conclusions also address two major changes clearly in progress: the disencumbering of ourselves from wired communication and the convergence of media, facilitated by the central role of computer technology in new telecommunications systems. Cellular telephones, for example, are only possible because of computer technology.
Meadow also addresses the impact of the globalization of information infrastructure on the power of elites, especially in totalitarian regimes, which each day have less control over the flow of information within their societies. He warns us of some potentially dysfunctional effects of globalization, including the creation of demand in LDC's which cannot afford the mass consumerism rampantly on display in western media, and the real and present threat to indigenous cultures from the intrusion of global message systems into their mindscapes.
This book, however, is neither a utopian view of the past and future contributions of communications systems to society, nor a dystopian diatribe against the evils of new information technologies. Rather, it is a balanced, considered, witty, and wise view of who we are as communicators, how we got here, and where we might be headed.
Making Connections is a must read for all of us who want to be informed citizens capable of exercising our political franchise intelligently, not an easy task in an environment that is saturated with redundant mediated messages. Meadow suggests the map of the future be drawn on the canvas of our history that has grown out of our ability to extend our senses through communications technology.
Read this book if you, like the rest of us, need such a map.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Good book for the business reader 3 luglio 2002
Di Joyce Weiner - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida
Making Connections is a book which business readers will find useful as they try to understand the role of new technologies in the work place. The scope of Charles Meadow's book is far-reaching, reviewing as it does the earliest origins of verbal communication to the impact of the latest developments in telecommunications and computing on society. The book is short on the hype so typical in business and marketing books, which tout the latest in converging technologies, and long on clarity and logical thinking. Meadow's Background Chapter sets out sufficient theory to make the rest of the book's content fit nicely into the technical environment about which it is written. It is very useful for its common sense and clever use of terms that the business reader can understand.
Charles Meadow writes compellingly about the impact of communications technologies on the form and evolution of personal, social, political and economic and business systems over the years. Of particular interest is his analysis of the impact of technology up to the mid-point of the 20th century, the juncture at which computers began to evolve and influence social systems. From this historical distance, Meadow teaches us to understand how the first electronic technologies changed society, thus giving us a handle on how new technologies affect us today. He offers one of the clearest definitions of "information" as he distinguishes it from the concepts of communication and knowledge The illustrations and pictures bring to the text a dimension of clarity not often seen in this kind of book. The reader whose specialty is not telecommunications will feel right at home with Meadow's approach to the subject matter.
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