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Making Connections: Communication Through the Ages

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0810842335
ISBN-10: 0810842335
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Accessible to, and recommended for, undergraduates, students at technical colleges, and general readers.....

Meadows manages to make communications technology interesting again by making the reader see it from a new lens...As a solid introduction to the history of communication technology, this work is strongly recommended for academic and public libraries.....

Meadow, a University of Toronto professor emeritus of information studies, is well qualified to explore communications topics...Communication has characterized human experience from ancient time to the present. Thus, its history is a fascinating story tofollow. Making Connections emphasizes this point by highlighting the development of a wide array of communication technologies over time....

...a well-written, thoughtful, and richly documented summary of the history of human communication.....

Writing in a casual style for nonspecialists, Meadow covers the basics of each technology, showing how it was invented, how it works, and the effect it has had on society.....

About the Author

Charles T. Meadow is Professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto. He is the author of Ink into Bits: A Web of Converging Media (2002) and Messages, Meaning and Symbols: The Communication of Information (2006), both published by Scarecrow.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Scarecrow Press (April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810842335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810842335
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,030,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Albert S. Tedesco on June 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Making Connections is required reading for anyone seeking a clearer understanding of the old and new "mediated environments" in which human culture has been nurtured. It will be useful in courses in the social sciences, communications, history, anthropology, and marketing, and for the general reader who wants tools for cutting through the technological confusion which surrounds us.
Making Connections, as the title implies, is about the impact of communications systems on human history. But, on another level, this book is about helping the reader to "connect the dots," to form an image of what appears to the layman and expert alike to be an unfathomable telecommunications landscape.
Most of us can agree on one point: the pace of technological change, especially the convergence of media upon which we rely for indirect images of reality, is so fast that even professional viewers of that landscape have a difficult time describing what they see, no less what they think is on the horizon.
Through illustration, Meadow makes the case that evolving communications systems generate structure and this structure becomes the milieu, the growth medium, if you will, in which society and the individuals who populate it grow.
Meadow's lucid descriptions of complex information theory bring to the layman and professional reader alike, a new level of explanation that is both witty and wise, in which such concepts as the relationship between information and uncertainty, for example, become not only understandable, but available for application to everyday situations. Meadow's discussion of the complex interrelationship among symbols (data), information, and knowledge is professionally sound and very accessible to the layman.
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Format: Hardcover
Making Connections is a book which business readers will find useful as they try to understand the role of new technologies in the work place. The scope of Charles Meadow's book is far-reaching, reviewing as it does the earliest origins of verbal communication to the impact of the latest developments in telecommunications and computing on society. The book is short on the hype so typical in business and marketing books, which tout the latest in converging technologies, and long on clarity and logical thinking. Meadow's Background Chapter sets out sufficient theory to make the rest of the book's content fit nicely into the technical environment about which it is written. It is very useful for its common sense and clever use of terms that the business reader can understand.
Charles Meadow writes compellingly about the impact of communications technologies on the form and evolution of personal, social, political and economic and business systems over the years. Of particular interest is his analysis of the impact of technology up to the mid-point of the 20th century, the juncture at which computers began to evolve and influence social systems. From this historical distance, Meadow teaches us to understand how the first electronic technologies changed society, thus giving us a handle on how new technologies affect us today. He offers one of the clearest definitions of "information" as he distinguishes it from the concepts of communication and knowledge The illustrations and pictures bring to the text a dimension of clarity not often seen in this kind of book. The reader whose specialty is not telecommunications will feel right at home with Meadow's approach to the subject matter.
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