Sunday, July 8, 2007

Communication Technologies

In today’s society, technology is advancing further and further everyday. A prime example of this is the computer. The computer is any programmable electronic mechanism that can collect, retrieve, and process information. This description has grown significantly over time as the computer has come a long way from the likes of a simple calculator, to a complex and intricate piece of machinery that has the ability to control our existence.
In an industry which is very forward looking, one interested in the future development of information and communications technologies, it can be useful to have a sense of, and learn from, history. The recent pioneering of the use of texting by youth is a well known and much cited example of unexpected innovation. But in fact there have been numerous occasions where technologies have entered our everyday lives through the influence of users, or at least some users, in ways that were unanticipated by industry. Radio technology was first developed to convey a signal to places where a fixed line, i.e. telegraphs, could not reach – such as for contacting ships at sea. But it was ham radio enthusiasts who developed the practice of using radio for social communication.
Jen Webb & Tony Schirato (
The ‘new’ communication technologies occupy a highly contingent place in social consciousness: at once central to our everyday lives, and yet capable of generating anxiety and uncertainty. This article traces some aspects of the relation of everyday people to new media technologies and evaluates the reception and impact of new technologies in their public contexts. Drawing on the thinking of writers such as Slavoj Z izek and Jonathan Crary, we argue that both the fears and celebrations of the media have a considerable lineage.

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