Archive for history of alphabet

The History of the Alphabet

Posted in Video / Theatre with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2012 by Brit Cruise

Before jumping into Information Theory proper I decided to go back and explore the history of the Alphabet. This reminds us that communication, no matter how fluid it seems, is really just a series of selections. I’m using both Shannon and Harold Innis as inspiration for this series which is why I’m clarifying medium vs. message as well as information transmission over space vs. time – ideas which are popularized by Marshall McLuhan years later. By starting this way I’m able to carefully move away from the semantic issues of information and towards what Shannon called the “engineering problem”. This analogy will carry through the rest of the series so it’s important to lay the groundwork early on.

We are now ready for the problem…

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The Origins of Written Language

Posted in Video / Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2012 by Brit Cruise

In order to understand the origin of an alphabet we must first forget everything we know.

What would happen if we traveled back 50,000 years to meet our ancestors? How would we communicate with them?

This video reintroduces us to cave art, pictograms, ideograms and the rebus principle: