ERIC Number: ED185606
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
The Matching of Scales.
This essay argues that communication is at the intersection of four social changes that may in their effects add up to a third sociotechnological revolution. The four changes posited are: a historic shift in the character of infrastructures; a new emphasis on visual modes in the coding of images and ideas; a change in the nature of technology, from "thing" to "concepts"; and a new socio-organizational framework (called either compunications or telematique) to unify the diverse changes from teletext to teleprocessing. The essay suggests that for society, the major problem is the change of the scale in which social interactions take place. It notes that the widening of the arena brings people and exchanges (economic and political) into closer and more rapid contact, increasing the volatility of our problems. It also suggests that the idea that scales can be reduced is seductive, but has snares. In dealing with these issues, the essay begins with a discussion of scale in the rustic setting. It then moves on to how Lord Birkenhead sought 50 years ago to forecast the future but failed to anticipate communications. It then discusses the character of the new "revolutions" in communication and concludes with a discussion of the matching of scales as the major sociological issue for the democratic policy. (Author/FL)
Descriptors: Change Agents, Communication Problems, Communication Skills, Communication (Thought Transfer), Communications, Information Theory, Interaction, Mass Media, Social Change, Social Values, Telecommunications
International Institute of Communications, Tavistock House East, Tavistock Sq., London WC1H 9LG, England
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: International Inst. of Communications, London (England).
Note: The Louis G. Cowan Lecture given during the Annual Conference of the International Institute of Communications (London, England, September 12, 1979).