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The Information: A History,
A Theory, A Flood
Chapter 1:
Drums That Talk
(When a Code Is Not a Code)
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Communication Methods in Ancient
Times


Drummers in sub-Saharan Africa used drums as a means to
communicate to villag...
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Communication Methods in Ancient
Times


Drums
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Fire Beacons
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Used by the Greeks
Was able to transmit mess...
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The Idea of “Sympathetic” Needles
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Method of communication

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The idea was that if a pair of needles were magnetized...
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Morse Code
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At first it was a system of signs for letters, marked by a quick
succession of strokes



Samuel F. B. M...
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Morse Principle
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Mapping the Spoken Language
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Redundancy


Inefficient by definition



Every natural
language has
redundancy

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Redundancy in
English allows us t...
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Measurement of Redundancy


Mathematical formula for understanding the measurement of
redundancy: H = nlogs



Symbol...
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Participants
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Slide Makers:
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Jon Eggers
Jee Kim
Taylor Seybold
Erich Marlowe
James Hopkins
Milto...
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Ch1 grpr final (1)

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  • Drums were used as a means of oratory communications between peopleUniversally recognized among localsSimilar to military trumpets, except drums can be heard long-distance, faster than technologies in Europe( Ie. Horseback)Messages can be several sentences
  • Some drummers were able to send the same message with different wording.Fire beacon was a great way to transmit messages to somewhere far quickly, but it required immense planning, labor, watchfulness, and firewood to transmit a simple and short information like something or nothing. Some other communication methods like flags, horns, intermitted smoke, flashing mirrors were used for less extraordinary occasions. After the discovery of magnetism, there was a rumor that a person could communicate with another person two or three thousand miles away with a pair of magnetized needles.
  • The morse principle is an analogy that language or communication could be deciphered by means beating on drums. Captain Robert Sutherland Rattray reported to the Royal African Society in London, how a resident in one part of Africa heard of the death of a European baby and how this news was carried by means of drums, which was stated to be the “Morse Principle”. Morse had boot-strapped his system from a middle symbolic layer, the written alphabet intermediate between speech and his final code. His dots and dashes had no direct connection to sound; they represented letters, which formed written words, which represented the spoken words in turn.
  • Since the late nineteenth century, linguists have identified language as a phoneme as the smallest acoustics and pitches that distinguish what the meaning of what they are actually communicating. As the spoken language of Africa elevated tonality to a crucial role, the drum language went a difficult step further. It employed tone and only tone. For every village and every tribe the drum language began with the spoken word and shed the consonants and vowels. Listeners are hearing only the staccato drum tones, low and high, but in effect they hear the actual phrase and not individual words.
  • Redundancy serves as the antidote to confusion. Every natural language has redundancy built in; this is why people can understand text riddled with errors and why they can understand conversation in a noisy room.Phrase created by James Merrill in a poem of his from the 1970s.A poster was created and placed in the New York City subway advertising shorthand writing.
  • Carrington recognized mathematical way to understand measurement of redundancy—through Hartley’s formula H=n log s.H= the amount of informationn= the # of symbols in messages= the # of symbols available in the language.-the degree of choice in a symbol set varies depending if you used words, dots, dashes, etc.. [example: 26letters or three types of interruption in an electrical circuit.)if you were using a symbol set with limited amount of symbols within it then this would increase the amount of each you need to transmit to successfully get your information across correctly.(the example in the book says the African drummers messages were about 8 times as long compared to if they spoke their intended information.Hartley thought sound (human voice) was the “real stuff” of communicating ideas with othersSound can serve as a code of knowledge or meaning of informationHe was interested and wanted others to remember the path of how information evolved overtime—[believing that technology skipped the intermediate stages between drum talking to mobile phones.]
  • Ch1 grpr final (1)

    1. 1. + The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood Chapter 1: Drums That Talk (When a Code Is Not a Code)
    2. 2. + Communication Methods in Ancient Times  Drummers in sub-Saharan Africa used drums as a means to communicate to villages  Drums, along with bugles and bells could transmit signals such as: Attack, retreat, or come to church  In special cases, drums could also be used to summon help from neighboring towns  Captain William Allen noted that the sound of military trumpets could not carry messages long distances, but the thump of a drum could carry six or seven miles.  Relayed village to village messages could rumble 100+ miles in an hour
    3. 3. + Communication Methods in Ancient Times  Drums   Fire Beacons    Used by the Greeks Was able to transmit messages longer distances than drums Other Methods     Almost anyone could understand the message in the drumbeats, but only a few of them learned how to communicate by drum Flags Intermittent smoke Flashing mirrors Discovery of Magnetism  Rumors of magnetic needles
    4. 4. + The Idea of “Sympathetic” Needles  Method of communication  The idea was that if a pair of needles were magnetized together, they would remain in sympathy from then on, even when separated  Browne tried the experiment, but unfortunately it did not work  Browne still believes that this mysterious force could someday be used for communication
    5. 5. + Morse Code  At first it was a system of signs for letters, marked by a quick succession of strokes  Samuel F. B. Morse claimed the idea of his first telegraph patent in 1840  Vail, Morse’s protégé, and Morse turned the idea from a coded alphabet to the system of two elements, one of clicks (now dots) and spaces in between. They added a third sign, the dash.  He wanted to be efficient in speed so Morse and Vail reserved short sequences of dots and dashes for common letters  Vail went to a newspaper stand and found that E and T were very common letters. So they changed T to a single dash saving the telegraph operators billions of key taps in the future.
    6. 6. + Morse Principle
    7. 7. + Mapping the Spoken Language
    8. 8. + Redundancy  Inefficient by definition  Every natural language has redundancy  Redundancy in English allows us to read this sentence  The phrase was used to advertise shorthand writing Created by James Merrill
    9. 9. + Measurement of Redundancy  Mathematical formula for understanding the measurement of redundancy: H = nlogs  Symbols used to measure the redundancy in language:  Words  Phonemes  Dots / dashes  The less symbols available -> increased the amount transmitted to relay information  Hartley believed sound was the more important way for communication
    10. 10. + Participants  Slide Makers:           Jon Eggers Jee Kim Taylor Seybold Erich Marlowe James Hopkins Milton Ramer Owen Steepy Parisse Wood Courtenay Cronin Presenters:       Danny Noyes Taylor Rivera Julian Brooks Trevor Smith Zach Bichard Megan Hill

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