Surname 1Name:Course:University:Lecturer:Date: Trends in the Development of Communication Communication has been one of the major tools driving the economies of the world.Since time immemorial, rigorous developments have occurred in the communication industryfollowing the discovery of varied and refined communication devices. In essence,communication refers to full conversations, mass communication and very delicate exchangeprocesses (Crowley and Paul 35). The evolution of communication, through human speech, tookplace as early as 200,000 years ago, with the development of symbols taking place in the last30,000 years. Such developments have been enhanced by the devolution of ideas from the humanbrain passed on from generation to generation, which has long since been critical in thedevelopment and mastery of speech, distinguishing human beings from other creatures. Speechhas thus been paramount in facilitating the transmission of knowledge and information tosuccessive generations. In prehistoric times, people used to paint on cave walls as a way of communicating viewsand recording information about their culture, society and events. The urge to send and relayinformation to distant communities and tribes drove people to adopt drums to convey thesemessages (Noll 12). To add to this list was the use of smoke to communicate to far community.Following the development of speech, the situation changed for the better in that humans couldnow transfer knowledge and experience from generation to generation, allowing them to adapt to
Surname 2new environments or to influence the environment in their favor at a higher rate than before.Following the development of speech, advancements in cooperation and coordination facilitatedthe establishment of abstract and complex concepts, such as religion, and this developmentenhanced human control over the entire planet (Katz). However, imperfections in speech, such asthose caused by distance, and the reliance on human memory, such as limitations in the extent ofinformation recalled or the death of a person with certain information became a challenge andprompted the development of symbols. Symbols were developed to make up for the limitation in speech and to facilitate easierbroadcast of information. Symbols thus improved both the long life at which information couldbe passed on and the range of communication improved. According to Noll (15), symbolismrefers to as usual method of representing ideas. The most significant communication symbols oftime were Paleolithic cave paintings. Though not standardized, this method was much moreefficient for passing on information; this in linguistics is explained as the connection betweendrawing and writing, as a way of passing on information through occurrences and events, thiswere painted on the caves walls, though not very reliable because the paintings faded with time.At around 10,000 BC, petroglyphs, or carving onto rock surfaces, became the next step incommunication (Crowley and Paul 34). Other means of communicating through symbolsinvolved the use of tattoos, ropes that were Quipu-like and the use of stone and wood to carvesymbols (Katz 17). Pictograms were later invented as an even more efficient means of communicatingconcepts through illustration. According to Noll (27), a pictogram refers to the idea ofrepresenting an event, concept, activity or object through the use of illustration and thus is a typeof proto-writing. While petroglyphs generally represent an event, pictograms illustrate the story
Surname 3behind the event and hence allow for the sequencing of events in chronological order (Noll 43).Having been used by various cultures, pictograms came to be used in communication in about9000 BC, with farm produce being marked with simple picture-marked tokens. Pictogramsbecame even more popular between 6000 and 5000 BC when they became the basis forhieroglyphs and cuneiforms and were developed into logographic writing systems in around5000 BC (Crowley and Paul 36). With the increased need for specialization and efficiency incommunication, ideograms developed to replace pictograms. Ideograms, such as the Indus orVinca script, were basically an evolution of earlier pictograms and are generally graphicalsymbols representing an idea; hence, they were the basis for the logographic writing technologywhich included systems such as Chinese characters and Egyptian hieroglyphs (Noll 59). The ideographic and pictographic elements influenced the development of writing.Writing systems are broadly grouped into three types: alphabetic, logographic and syllabic,although all three can be in use in any writing but in varying sizes (Katz 35). The development ofwriting was encouraged by the need for early communities to preserve records, contracts,calendars and land deeds and the need for a storage means that would be permanent,transportable, readily made and cheap to store, and fixed to avoid adjustments. The earliestwriting system was developed in the early Bronze Age. Resulting from clay tokens, writingbecame more advanced around the end of the 4th millennium BC following the development ofthe stylus (round shaped) system which was usually impressed at varying angles into soft clayand used for recording numerals. Later, pictographic writing was invented, and this inspired cuneiform (wedge-shapedstylus the new writing which was adopted) which was employed to represent the Sumerianspoken language (Noll 68). Around 500 BC, cuneiform had become a general purpose method of
Surname 4writing for numbers, syllables and logograms in Hittite, Old Persian and Ugarithic, and this alsoincluded Chinese script. Around 2000 BC, the first alphabet was developed in Egypt (Crowleyand Paul 79), the first pure alphabet used to represent single symbols which in return representsingle phonemes. By 2700 BC, Egyptian writing included a set of close to twenty-twohieroglyphs representing syllables that began with a single consonant in the Egyptian language.These were later used as guides in pronunciation. The need to communicate more efficiently, more rapidly and to secure information fromloss or interruptions encouraged the need for the development of telecommunications. Thisbegan in the 1770s with the introduction of the first semaphore system in Europe followed in the1830s by the invention of electrical communication. In 1772, the world’s first telegraph service,between Lille and Paris, was developed by Claude Chappe (Katz 67). Abraham Edelcrantzdeveloped a slightly different system that relied on shutters and was thus much faster, though histelegraph faced the challenge of expensive towers and a lack of skilled operators. Germany’s Samuel Thomas developed the electrochemical telegraph, utilizing multiplewires to visually represent every Latin numeral and letter. Sir Charles Wheatstone and Sir DavidBrewster built the earliest commercial electrical telegraph in the 1830s and, unlike theelectrochemical one; it could be used to communicate over long distances (Noll 89). Thedevelopment of the register enhanced the development of the first Atlantic telegraph systemcable. In 1876, Alexander Graham invented the first telephone, based on the idea of telegraph.This was followed by the wireless telephone utilizing modulated light beams from photo phones(Crowley and Paul 103). Utilizing the principles of wireless telegraphy, Reginald Fessenden was able to transmitthe human voice in a wireless media, and this led to the invention of the radio. In 1925, John
Surname 5Baird developed the system that could transmit moving pictures utilizing halftone shades. UsingNipkow disks, Baird produced the first mechanical television, used in the British BroadcastingCorporation’s experiments in 1929 (Katz 79). Karl Braun developed the cathode ray tube thatremained in use in televisions throughout the 20th century. Later, the development of televisionnetworks and microwave radio relay saw huge improvements in audio-visual broadcasting(Crowley 112). In 1940, George Stibitz pioneered the development of the mainframe computerfollowing his experimentation with teletype (Noll 102). The mainframe (centralized computer)dominated in the 1950s, when researchers developed packet switching technology to allow datacommunication without the need for a mainframe computer. The ARPANET later emerged in1981 following extensive research and consisted of 213 nodes (Katz 123). The ARPANET later merged with other similar networks, establishing the Internet,whose numerous procedures are in use today and became specified in this merger process. TheTransmission Control Protocol (TCP), and the V4 Internet protocol were developed in 1981, andmuch of the internet nowadays relies on this innovation (Noll 137). The SMTP email protocolwas developed in 1982 by Request for Comment (RFC) 821 while the protocol thatrevolutionalized the ability for a hyperlinked internet was developed in 1996 by RFC 1945 (Noll147). However, the 1970’s Local Area Network (LAN), 1976’s Ethernet and 1974’s Token Ringprotocol were developed separately from the RFC processes (Noll 149). Communication hascontinued to evolve over time with the changing needs of the human race and the nature ofevents. This has been because of the changing trends of human being and the growing demandfor new development in technology triggered by competition among major producers ofcommunication appliances.
Surname 6 Works CitedCrowley, David & Paul Heyer, ‘Communication in History: Technology, Culture, Society’, 5th Ed. Boston: Pearson A and B. 2007Katz, Randy, "History of Communications Infrastructures", Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Department (EECS) Department, University of California, Berkeley.Noll, Michael, ‘The Evolution of Media,’ Boston: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 2007