Empire and Communications Voyageur Classics PDF/EPUB

Empire and Communications Voyageur Classics ❰PDF❯ ✅ Empire and Communications Voyageur Classics Author Harold A. Innis – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk It’s been said that without Harold A Innis there could have been no Marshall McLuhan Empire and Communications is one of Innis’s most important contributions to the debate about how media influenc It’s been said that without Harold A Communications Voyageur MOBI î Innis there could have been no Marshall McLuhan Empire and Communications is one of Innis’s most important contributions to the debate about how media influence the development of consciousness and societies In this seminal text he traces humanity’s movement from the oral tradition of preliterate Empire and PDF or cultures to the electronic media of recent times Along the way he presents his own influential concepts of oral communication time and space bias and monopolies of knowledge.


9 thoughts on “Empire and Communications Voyageur Classics

  1. Miglena Miglena says:

    A comprehensive look at history of communications from antiuity to the 50s when the author died This book was his swan song and wasn't accepted well in the academic community The book shifts many paradigms of communication and its role in legal systems governance and economic development Below is my longer review Harold Innis is effectively one of the first economic historians His investigation into communications in empires that prospered and later collapsed was aimed at finding answers to contemporary after First World War economic problems The results of his efforts formed a new paradigm As with anything new his approach to looking for answers in distant history through second hand sources was frowned upon by the scientific community for lacking sophistication and what they called “inferior colonial perspective” on the history of the world However in the introduction of Empire and Communications Alexander John Watson calls the book and Innis’ findings nothing less than “prophetic” Even though he was denounced as a serious scholar because of his commoner background and what his contemporary colleagues thought to be a mediocre knowledge of economy and history Innis’ study of communications of antiuity has laid the foundations for the work of such communication star scholars as Marshall McLuhan It was McLuhan’s uoting Innis’ work in his books that brought the renewed interest in the latter’s work A number of concepts that Innis discovered in his study of history of communications may be applied today For example he refers to “Civilizations can only survive through a concern with their limitations and in turn through a concern of their institutions including empires” In part of his introduction to the historical study he conducted Innis uotes Bryce who sums up that all past empires had a tendency towards aggregation which in turn is almost the very reason for their demise An example of Rome’s highly centralized top down organization is brought forward as invoking such strong centrifugal and centripetal forces that destroy it within and without From this example Innes extrapolates the importance of efficiency of communication especially when time and space in vast empires such as Rome determined the formation of power structures Innis goes as far back as Egypt and Babylonia He places a great deal of importance to the development of writing and reading as a major step in furthering the power of the ruling class and ultimately the Monarch “With the use of papyrus the systems of administration became one of numerous officials Administration and its dependence on writing implied religious sanctions which meant encroachment on law”The rise of the Greek civilization “was apparently accompanied by a change from voluntary to obligatory aristocratic form of government Innis uotesThirlwall who elouently describes the validity of the notion that the legal system is entirely in the hands of the aristocracy ie those in power “In the absence of a written code those who declare and interpret laws may be properly said to make them” However a key point is evident in Innis’ conclusions about the Greek civilization He firmly believes that it is “the spread of writing that contributed to the collapse of the Geek civilization by widening the gap between the city states” He also concludes that it is the oral tradition of the Greeks that prevented them from forming an absolute monarchism and theocracy Through Innis’ detailed examination of the influence of papyrus paper and later the printing press he continues to weave a thread of the written word and its influence on legal systems in different societies


  2. says:

    Innis writes socio economic historiography like Hemingway fiction Sentences are spartan in the book's main sections while footnotes and appended scribblings vy for the position of shortest syntactically incomplete semantic units Comes with a downright silly bibliography a roughly estimated average of four works cited per page Sometimes obtuse which has mostly to do with syntax in some cases with terminology and always dispassionate an attitude McLuhan in the foreword calls a lack of a fixed point of view; ie a mosaic approach speaking of which the later chapters of the book feel very familiar to any reader of McLuhan's and show clearly where the latter got his self admitted inspiration Innis casts a rock in the historical pond by putting communication technology in the limelight and tracing its development throughout and influence on pivotal moments in human history mostly limited to the ancient mediterranean cultures plus the west and while even the critical reader can't but be thankful for a recalibration taking into account historically underlit elements one can't help but wonder if tackling such a huge subject ie the evolution of human society starting from Mesopotamia all the way to the early Cold War with such an obsessive lens namely comm tech isn't leaving any other angle potentially even móre important unseenNevertheless astounding in scope and erudition and freuently eye opening in conclusionsinterpretations such as recasting the American civil war as essentially newspaper driven pointing to the lawyer class as a de facto synthesis of aristocracy and clergy and naming monopolies of knowledge the intellectual chasms they irrevocably open wrt the public at large and mass culture as the biggest enemies of the West or any culture for that matter Empire and Communications is a challenging though potentially rewarding read remaining for the most part totally accessible to amateurs such as myself


  3. Karl Karl says:

    I wanted to give this book a much higher rating because there are a lot of good ideas there that I'll be mulling over for a long time But the deficiencies are just too significant and pervasive to ignore I'll start with the bright spotsThe overall premise that communications technology and social practice defines the form that empire takes is striking and illuminating Also the idea that fundamentally empires must address problems of space and problems of time in how communications are used to control their dominion is powerful Also there are many ideas just tossed in that struck me among them seeing evolution of the holy word ie Torah as a step toward replacinglimiting the authority of powerful dynastic rulers looking at the differences between French and English common law as an extension of writtenlegalistic traditions versus oral traditionsBut little or nothing is proven The book feels like a machine gun of historical trivia for the most part Statements bounce from person to person place to place era to era with little regard for creating even an argument that could be framed as subject to debate inuiry or refutation It remains much a collection of research notes that might sometime create a viable body of work than a realized corpus In the end it lack of focus and lack of verifiability are critical flaws for the book as a source of knowledgeWhat saves it from complete failure is that as a source of inuiry it remains powerful to this day I'm still wondering if the rise of a twitter fueled presidency was inevitable in this analysis And if we can learn anything about how we might move forward now that we have one So read the book if this is your thing it was worth the time and the money But don't hold out hope for it to be than it is


  4. Zack Zack says:

    There is something really interesting here but I think it might take another time or two and some context for me to really grasp what it is Innis's stated goal at the start of these lectures is to explore a culture's texts and modes of textual production as products shaping economic governmental and cultural forces He does this through a method of intense historical excavation such that this is kind of the namesdatesfigures kind of text that often people are warned against writing But he organizes this around the notion of inherent biases in communicative media and practices and their support or encroachment upon elements of timespace and centralizationdecentralization But to my reading it sometimes seems as if the attributes that he gives to particular communication media are inconsistent across their application different circumstances and the reasoning behind those distinctions is never really fully explained save maybe it is contained in the listing of namesdatesfigures that reside around his assertions As such the book was at times very opaue It was interesting and the style of it as remarked upon in the introduction is definitely a part of its argument that deserves attention but as an experience it was at times a bit much Will definitely need to do some deep thinking about this one as I'm sure there are some major elements to its construction and thesis that I ought to attend to carefully


  5. Tom Tom says:

    Are you kidding me? This is a supposed classic in communication studies so I wanted to like it And being that it's held in such high regard I naturally had high expectations going in though I admit those expectations were tempered by my familiarity with scholarship in the field The problem is that this work speaks volumes as to why theories in communication studies are so utterly lacking in anything approaching scientific rigorThere might be something to the idea that the medium of communication shapes societies and their subseuent development It's a plausible idea In fact I'll go further It's almost obviously true in certain cases For example developments in writing and the printing press led to decreased power from the Church sure However Innis wants to go further than that and thinks he's uncovered a deeper principle at work He claims that certain mediums of communication are grounded in a concept of space and others in a concept of time and it is the bias that societies have toward one or the other that influence their developmentMediums grounded in time Innis says are durable and those grounded in space are less durable But I'm still not entirely sure why this durability criterion should be at all important when discussing communication mediums and their impact on societal development He claims that durable mediums time mediums are suited to decentralization and hierarchy in social institutions while space mediums are just the opposite However he never clearly states why this should be the case Nor does he truly explain why tendencies toward hierarchy or decentralization should be doing the work that his theory reuires They're just claims he makes with astonishingly little support The fact that he can place these concepts into a historical narrative with various facts peppered in shows nothing except an inclination toward storytellingI'll end by saying that Innis' writing is not difficult or academic Those are the descriptions I read before starting this book Actually the word people are looking for is bad The chapters are composed of paragraphs that are essentially successions of historical facts often with no apparent order Transitions between ideas are employed sparsely if at all Irrelevant details have been consistently added to each chapter seemingly for the sake of demonstrating breadth of research He's a charlatan and it showsAvoid


  6. Thiago Silva Thiago Silva says:

    I came to Innis’ books following what McLuhan said about them that his own works were a footnote to the observations of InnisInnis is a hard read I’ve read a chunk of Bias of Communications and it seems no different than Empire in that regard His style is simply this storming out small sentences describing chronological events in history with no pause on sight Halfway into the book he starts to timidly draw insights and only by the end when the subject is the printing press that he grants words to elaborate on the phenomenon he is interested at the contribution of medium to the rise and fall of empiresThere’s a lot here to learn in terms of discrete bits of history and observations But the real contribution is Innis insights on medium While many are ready to disregard this work and the folks that followed as lacking rigor I believe the lack of rigor should not be a reason to promptly disregard a significant work that acts as a finger drawing attention to something important that we would not see otherwise — and doing so motivates inuiry and dialogueLast but not least as a book that draws from such a distant past into recent history exploring the many rises and falls of western society paralleled by the communication media in use immensely helps one in developing better perspectives to navigate on our modern days of celebration of the electrical sublime


  7. Henrique Maia Henrique Maia says:

    How much impact had writing in its different incarnations had on world history? How does changes in writing technologies influence the outcomes of empires? This or something akin to this is the thesis of Harold A Innis in this short but difficult to read so they say book You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy this different outlook proposed by Innis Maybe as myself you’ll reach Innis by reading Marshall McLuhan’s The Gutenberg Galaxy In any case Innis’ proposal makes you think again about the role writing has had on human culture history and even evolutionWell argued for with good and substancial examples this book provides much food for thought and as McLuhan develops these ideas becomes a whole different way to look at contemporary clashes and events be them social political and even religious


  8. Sophia Sophia says:

    A highly condensed examination of the role of media in civilizations Fusion of papyrus and stone resulted in an unstable Egypt Empire Babylon was aslo struggling in the balance of monarch and priests' monopoly of knowledge stone and clay Greek nourished from an oral tradition Byzantine survived with parchment while papyrus costed Roman its empire Then came the paper and print press then business industry and in the other continent newspaper found its dominance in a brand new country


  9. Brian Brian says:

    The second of 2 classic comm theory books the 1st is The Bias of Communication 1949 by Harold Innis whose theories of 'time binding' and 'space binding' media were very influential on Marshall McLuhan and all who followed in his wake Heavy going but worth it


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *