Status quo, how it evolved, and where to go from here.

Sender and recipient

As a sender with an interest in my message being heard and understood, it is my responsibility to shape and tailor the message in a way suitable to the recipient.

Elements of the transmission model (Shannon and Weaver)

  1. An information source, which produces a message.
  2. A transmitter, which encodes the message into signals.
  3. A channel, to which signals are adapted for transmission.
  4. A receiver, which 'decodes' (reconstructs) the message from the signal.
  5. A destination, where the message arrives.

A simple, yet useful model since it provides the distinctions of transmitter, channel, and receiver between source and destination. Three elements to look at.

The asynchronicity of reading

Information uptake via reading vs. watching motion pictures or listening to audio recordings, the latter two being synchronous while the former; reading, is dynamic and variable in speed, hence asynchronous. Note the differences between input and output, between consumption and production.

Input vs. output (Values for average adults)

  • Hand-writing (output)
    • 30 words per minute for memorized text
    • 20 words per minute while copying
  • Typing (output)
    • 40 words per minute is considered average
    • 100+ words per minute is considered high speed
  • Watching (synchronous input)
    • 125 words of dialogue per minute in movie scripts
  • Listening (synchronous input)
    • 150 to 160 words per minute for audiobooks
  • Reading (asynchronous input)
    • 250 to 300 words per minute for prose text[1][2]

The Trivium

The Trivium is a systematic method of critical thinking used to derive factual certainty from information perceived with the traditional five senses. In the medieval university, the trivium was the lower division of the seven liberal arts, and comprised grammar, logic, and rhetoric (input, process and output).

  • Grammar teaches the mechanics of language to the student. This is the step where the student "comes to terms", i.e. defining the objects and information perceived by the five senses. Hence, the Law of Identity: a tree is a tree, and not a cat.
  • Logic (also dialectic) is the "mechanics" of thought and of analysis; the process of identifying fallacious arguments and statements, and so systematically removing contradictions, thereby producing factual knowledge that can be trusted.
  • Rhetoric is the application of language in order to instruct and to persuade the listener and the reader. It is the knowledge (grammar) now understood (logic) being transmitted outwards, as wisdom (rhetoric).[3]

See also:

Marshall McLuhan:

  • The Global Village: Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century (1989)
  • Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964)
  • War and Peace in the Global Village (1968)