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By Marshall T. Poe

A background of Communications advances a thought of media that explains the origins and influence of alternative kinds of communique - speech, writing, print, digital units and the net - on human heritage within the long-term. New media are 'pulled' into common use through wide old 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 really new in regards to the net, what's no longer, and the place it really is taking us.

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Extra resources for A History of Communications : Media and Society from the Evolution of Speech to the Internet

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In contrast, the shorter the range of a medium, the more intensive its network; the more intensive a network, the more social practices in it will be simplified. Intensiveness impedes curiosity about the present. In intensive networks, then, we should see simplified social practices and an ideology – monism – that supports them. Monism is rooted in the idea that there is only one kind of person and thing. 7. Persistence → Addition → Historicization + Temporalism. The greater the persistence of a medium, the more additive its network; the more additive a network, the more social practices realized in it will be historicized.

The link between persistence and historicization is constituted by innate human curiosity about the past and the desire to learn about and from it: if humans can use a medium to find out about the past, and particularly people of the past, they will, and will create social practices built on these interests. Addition facilitates exploration of the past. In an additive network, therefore, we should see historicized social practices and an ideology – temporalism – that supports them. Temporalism is premised on the idea that things change in time.

But only humans instinctively talk and find joy in talking. Why, then, do we talk? The answer has two parts. The first is this: evolutionarily speaking, we talk because we were the only primates who gained social status and therewith fitness by talking. The second is this: psychologically speaking, we talk because we must be heard. 35 A HISTORY OF COMMUNICATIONS what talking did Talking was the first uniquely human medium, and – setting aside gesture – for more than 150,000 years it was the only medium we knew.

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