Talk:History of communication

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Suggest restructuring this article[edit]

This important topic has been much neglected of late, at least in discussion, possibly because the existing structure is somewhat limited. I propose a re-structuring of this article, chronologically representing significant periods of human communicaton history: prehistoric periods, periods of antiquity, middle ages, early and late modern. Within each broad chronological heading, a discussion of communication history could include social, political and economic factors that influenced and enabled communications, the media and inscribing tools (communications technologies), and key thinkers and innovators in communications history.

There are likely other histories of commmunication in other global regions, so this article could be comprehensive enough to include such histories in China, India, Central and South Americas; or, it could focus on the histories of the Middle East, Africa and Europe, and be renamed as such.Sansoko (talk) 02:07, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

History of communication[edit]

I have written an article on this subject and I'd be happy to share it with Wiki, unfortunately it is in Polish here. Feel free to Babelfish it for info, and I'll try to translate it time permitting.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 07:08, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I have destubbed the article by translating the first part. The second, about alphabet, I will leave for later, especially as I have encountered problems translating some specialized terms from Polish wiki, especially names of the writing systems, which are no interlinked to en wiki (see pl:Kategoria:Pismo). The third part, about technology, I am leaving for later.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  18:11, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

2400 AD?[edit]

I'm not educated enough in the subject to specify a corrected date, but I'm pretty sure that "2400 AD" as a date for couriers and postal systems is off by a milennium or so. 8-) I'm guessing 1400 AD is the intended date, but want to verify before editing anything. Bschoner 20:07, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

According to the mail article this is a correct date, although BC not AD :) We should of course verify this in an off-wiki publication.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  18:12, 1 September 2006 (UTC)


In what sense was Acta Diurna the "first book"? This needs clarifying... — Haeleth Talk 20:41, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Good catch, it was the first newspaper, not a book. That entire lower section is just a draft. I added a link to History of the book; the newspaper article when I checked it few days ago did not even have a section on history.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  03:28, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
From what I found browsing through some articles about the telephone, the date specified for this invention in the lower section of the article (1848 AD) is a bit off, and as I understand should be something like 1876. Can anybody confirm/deny this? — Tyger7th (talk) 15:40, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Seperating fact from fiction[edit]

A lot of the stuff on this page is theoretical in nature. A lot of it has no concrete proof to back it up. So I added two lines to the intro because I cannot stand seeing the theory of evolution stated as fact. Wikipedia needs a big clean-up on the issue IMHO.

--Ravenstorm 00:01, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Please keep fairy tales where they belong. Thank you, -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  03:25, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Not only is that incredibly offensive, but it's completely wrong. I'm not going to get into an argument here, but you cannot deny that evolution is a THEORY, nothing more. I am putting back in what I wrote and intend to keep it that way. This is an encyclopedia, not a biased evolutionist-worshipping website that is anti-creationist.--Ravenstorm 11:57, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I am sorry if you found my previous comment offensive, it was not my intention, however, as you yourself point out, evolution is a (widely accepted) scientific theory, while creationism is a religious belief. If, indeed, this article is related to creation-evolution controversy, feel free to add a section here or there, however I very much doubt it is important enough to mention in the lead (plus a lead should be a summary of information in the article, and article has nothing about it). PS. My link above was incorrect, I apologize for the confusion.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  14:32, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for apologizing, it is muchly appreciated. But I'd like to point out that intelligent design is ALSO a widely accepted scientific theory. One of the world's few triple-Ph.D's believes in intelligent design. This theory is not only limited to those who believe in creationism. I tried to be very subtle in adding my comment, but since this is not subtle enough, I will add a small section in due time to this article, among others, to remind readers that evolution is a theory, a widely accepted one. If I were to state intelligent design as fact, I am sure many evolutionists would be as frustrated as I am. --RavenStorm 15:58, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I have no doubt that i.d. or c. are supported by some scientists, but I think they are less widely accepted then e. theory. If I am correct, this should be reflected in the article, as even our WP:NPOV policy states that there is no reason to give equal weight to all POVs if some are much less popular then the others. Such an insert into the lead is highly inappopriate, for several reason I'd be happy to discuss with you if you wish, but here I'd like to stress that this insert attempts to portray evolution as a minority theory based on belief, a rather unrealistic assumption. Evolution is a theory, creationism is a belief, intelligent design is marketed by some as a theory but majority disagree, calling it a belief again (see lead of i.d. article). Therefore your edit was rather misleading. A section, however, is always appopriate - assuming it confirms to NPOV.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  16:14, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
There are Ph.D's who are religious? I would never have guessed! More to the point, the theory of evolution describes the fact of evolution, which is supported by as much empirical evidence as the theory that the Earth is an oblate spheroid in orbit around the Sun, whereas intelligent design is a concept supported by no empirical evidence at all. Intelligent design is not a scientific theory, let alone a widely accepted one. Fredrik Johansson 16:24, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Btw, one is reminded of the old geocentrism-heliocentrism debate here, wouldn't you agree? :) But seriously, RavenStorm, I'd highly recommend you read the Heliocentric#Religious_disputes_over_heliocentrism section of that article. It may give you something interesting to ponder about.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  16:29, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
In fact, unless I'm very much mistaken, it was shown in the Dover trial that one of the most widely-used textbook on "intelligent design" was really a creationism textbook where the word "creationism" had been replaced by "intelligent design". Hardly supports the notion that "This theory is not only limited to those who believe in creationism." -- Antaeus Feldspar 18:08, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Excuse me, RavenStorm, but that is quite frankly bull. Inteligent design puts forth absolutely no testable hypostulates at all, and is hence not in any way scientific. Further more even if it did, this would make it a hypothesis, not a scientific thoery, for in the scientific world, a theory is a hypothesis is an idea to be tested, wereas a theory is an idea with substancial evidence but no absolute proof. Please, as I have already asked you to do eslewhere, read up on the scientific meanings of these terms before playing at pseudoscience any more. LinaMishima 19:21, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Lina, your comments are hardly appreciated. If you were to check out some of the non-evolutionist videos that are going around on the internet instead of blindly believing in a theory that has hardly any concrete evidence, but instead a loosely strung-together bunch of facts that are so full of holes you could pass it off for swiss cheese. Because of what I have said you all assume I am a creationist instead of assuming that I am very knowledgeable on both sides of the argument. Although I am indeed a creationist, remember people that this is an ENCYCLOPEDIA. Check out these facts:
--"More than nine in 10 Americans—95 percent—told ABC News polltakers that they believe in God." [1]
--"Americans do not believe that humans evolved, and the vast majority says that even if they evolved, God guided the process. Just 13 percent say that God was not involved." [2]
--"In a May 8-11 survey of American beliefs on evolution, 46 percent of respondents agreed with the statement: God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so." [3]
So a VAST majority of people believe in God, and a lot of them believe in creationism. At least in the United States they do. Is creationism still a minority belief? Now let's see you state your sources, hmmm :D
--Ravenstorm 21:54, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
*laughs* RavenStorm, I am not blindly believing anything. I both work for and study a british university, and I am an avid reader of New Scientist. New Scientist has covered these issues regularly, and time after time it finds itself reasserting the concept of the scientific method, which you obviously would rather ignore. And why did I laugh? Particularly because you decided to shift this from science to sociology, citing the number of people who follow a belief as if it somehow will magically alter the facts. We are not debating minority or majoritiveness, we are talking about science, which bases its findings on evidence. I'm been quite open about where you can look for facts, and all the articles I have repeatedly cited explain the core concepts I am arguing with. I'd rather reference articles, however, than a debate that appears to be an attempt to disrupt wikipedia. You have been advised that you are welcome to add an "inteligent origins of communication", or whatever wording would be most suiting section to this article or even create a new article on this subject. LinaMishima 22:06, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
And what does it have to do with anything? Beliefs are not facts, this is Wikipedia, not Beliefpedia. I completly agree with Lina.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  22:49, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Please, Lina, could you stick the the subject at hand? I am not trying to debunk evolutionism. There are smarter men out there that have already done that for me. Look it up if you're really open-minded. Because really, your opinion doesn't matter here unless you are. We are "debating minority or majoritiveness" because some of the above users mentioned that minority theories should not be mentioned. I am not attempting to disrupt Wikipedia. I love Wikipedia and I would like to defend it from "a conjecture, an opinion, or a speculation. In this usage, a theory is not necessarily based on facts, in other words, it is not required to be consistent with true descriptions of reality." Did you recognize that? It's the definition of theory, according to our beloved Wikipedia. You talk a lot, but I have yet to see facts to back it up. And Wikipedia is based on facts, not "I think". --Ravenstorm 22:19, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
RavenStorm, once again I remind you that when we talk about "theory of evolution", we are talking about the scientific theory of evolution (check the section under theory on it's use within science). Take a gander there, and perhaps you will understand. The arguments against Intelligent design are majoritively because it fails as a concept to adhire to the scientific method. But this place is not the correct grounds for such a discussion, this being the talk page for improving the history of communication article. Once again I suggest that you create the section or article you desire on the non-evolutionary origins of communication, fully referencing it. There is no need to bicker about an issue not directly related. LinaMishima 22:59, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree, this is not the place, just as this article on communication was never the place for gratuitous off-topic anti-evolution arguments. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Awien (talkcontribs) 23:55, September 5, 2006 (UTC)

Sorry! Technologically challenged! Awien 23:08, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Right, of course, because intelligent design fails to adhere to scientific method, other than the fact that there are no flaws in said belief (nobody has ever been able to prove it wrong). The only hard part to understand is God, but then again, even that's comparatively simple. And by the way, I know these aren't the grounds for a discussion like this, if you would've read what I wrote earlier you may have noticed that I was avoiding this. For all intents and purposes, on the other hand, this is over now... feel free to respond one last time if it will make you feel better. --Ravenstorm 11:50, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
"Right, of course, because intelligent design fails to adhere to scientific method, other than the fact that there are no flaws in said belief (nobody has ever been able to prove it wrong)." Ravenstorm, you have just put your finger on precisely the reason why intelligent design could never be a scientific theory: not only has no one ever been able to prove it wrong, but no one ever could prove it wrong, and therefore no one could ever prove it right.
You're probably surprised at that, but it's true. A theory can only be supported by the evidence to the degree that it could be contradicted by the evidence. When you hold a stone in your hand and then open your hand, it falls to the floor; this is evidence for the theory of gravity, and if that stone had fallen upwards, it would have been evidence against the theory of gravity. But you can't show me evidence against intelligent design, because there is no such thing. If you point to a biological process that is nearly perfect in its perfection, ID advocates nod their heads wisely and say "See? It must be the work of a Creator!" If you point to a biological process that is markedly imperfect, ID advocates shake their heads wisely and say "it must be part of a Creator's plan that we aren't intelligent enough to understand." Evolution is a scientific theory because evidence can be collected and examination of the evidence can support or deny the theory or aspects thereof -- this is how the incorrect doctrine of Lysenkoism was debunked, for instance, because the evidence didn't show offspring exhibiting traits attained by the parents through their life experiences. By contrast, even if you were the Creator, and you created a new universe in which evolution was the guiding principle, and you deliberately refrained from taking any active hand whatsoever in the creation of life, and deliberately waited until evolution had produced life that was not only intelligent but that had the capacity to speculate and wonder about the origins of life, you would only have succeeded in creating a world that intelligent design advocates would conclude to be the work of your active guiding hand. You say "no one has ever been able to prove [ID] wrong" as if that was a point in its favor, but no one could ever prove ID wrong, no matter how wrong it is. -- Antaeus Feldspar 15:51, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Please, you keep acting as if I'm ignorant. "You're probably surprised at that." "It may give you something to ponder about." I know my stuff! Here's something for you to think about: what is my proof that the Bible (the foundation of creationism) is factual and true? Prophecy. Here are some interesting facts in the Bible... considering it was written thousands of years ago: first off, one verse that disproves evolution (according to the Bible) is Genesis 1:11, which essentially says that each animal and plant will produce the same thing, never anything different (no matter how long). Now for some crazy predictions which are indeed true. Isaiah 40:22 and Luke 17:34-36 state that the Earth is a sphere in shape and rotates. Psalms 19:4-6 states that the sun is moving in space in a HUGE orbit (not around the Earth). In fact, it's written in seventeen verses that the universe is constantly expanding. Job 36:27-28 and Amos 9:6 explain the hydrological cycle! How about Hebrews 11:3, which explains that all things are made of sub-atomic particles that are invisible to the naked eye? Although the people in the Bible times didn't know it, that book managed to explain a lot of meteorogical stuff! How about history? Ezekiel 11:17 says that Israel would become a country again. This seems highly unlikely, considering how Israel is geographically surrounded by its enemies. But in 1948, it happened.
Coincidence? Go ahead and believe that. But if the Bible managed to predict all those things, I personally thing that's enough proof to assume creationism is the real deal. --Ravenstorm 23:14, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Prophecy? Sure, I can agree that some of the things Bible said came true. However, are you saying that each and every one of the prophecies and statements made in Bible is true? If you cannot prove that all of Bible's prophecies are true, then how does it differs from the prophecies of Nostradamus? Anyway, I assume you are much more familiar then me with the articles on Bible prophecy, I'd like to note that it contains some criticism of that notion. And how would you reply to the claims of Unfulfilled historical predictions by Christians? Unfortunately I was not able to find articles of Fulfilled historical predictions by Christians, or a more specific section of either dealing with Biblical prophecies.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  21:19, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, you're correct. I was acting as if you were in a state of less than perfect knowledge about the way science works. Now if you were to demonstrate that you actually understand the operating principles of science, that would be evidence against my hypothesis. But so far, all of the evidence has been "for". Now, I'm not going to go into a full refutation because we're already far off the actual subject of the article. But I'll just point out one way in which your "proof" that the Bible is always factual and true (for you cannot conclude "it must be truer than science could possibly be about creationism" from just "it is sometimes factual and true") falters. Let's look at the prophecy of Israel becoming a country again. Did "Israel" become a country again? Well, let's just say that in 1948, a country came into being -- coincidentally, founded by people who all knew about the prophecy that Israel would become a country again -- and that country, which was founded in 1948, got the name "Israel".
So let me offer a parallel. Edgar Cayce predicted that Atlantis would rise again. If people who already believed in Atlantis and the prophecy that it would rise again were able to make some previously sunken landmass rise to the surface, and called that landmass "Atlantis", would that prove that everything Edgar Cayce ever said was going to come true? After all, he predicted that "Atlantis" would rise, and sure enough, something rose and got named "Atlantis"... -- Antaeus Feldspar 00:10, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, you asked me for proof that the Bible was true. Now prove it wrong. You say it's "sometimes true", I say it's "always true". I repeat: prove it wrong. --Ravenstorm 01:56, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
You seem to be confused about where the burden of proof lies. Extraordinary claims -- such as "this book is always correct, no matter what the subject" -- require extraordinary evidence. It's not the responsibility of anyone else to prove your extraordinary claim false, it's for you to prove it true, and merely pointing out a few instances where you could interpret the book as having made a correct prediction is not enough to support the claim that it is always right. -- Antaeus Feldspar 20:52, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Don't feed the trolls[edit]

When someone had a suitable course of action suggested to them that they have been encouraged to take, and yet they (apparently) fail to take that action, it is normally a good sign about their seriousness. When people show them the rational basis for their argument and attempt to explain were they are coming from, and all they get in return is a change of direction to less related matters, it is another sign. When someone is trying to make a point and they continue after they have found that everybody else has perfectly good and well-explained reasons for opposing, they probably are not worth the effort.

As the old internet adage goes (even if it may not apply here),

Don't feed the trolls

Thanks, LinaMishima 00:30, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Your indirect attacks at me are entertaining at best. It hasn't even been a week since you told me to "take the suitable course of action." Calm down, I'll do my best to get it done. We're having a calm, respectful discussion (I hope), that shouldn't be a problem. I admit this probably isn't the right place, but I doubt any of ther users that are part of this argument would want to meet outside of Wikipedia to discuss.
You guys should be happy I didn't report the incredibly offensive comment made as soon as I started this whole thing. Forgiveness is never really appreciated, is it? --Ravenstorm 01:59, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
I'll admit, the above isn't the most civil of things. But the ID discussion does seem rather off-topic for this talk page. Wikipedia is not a forum, and I would advise interested parties to find some other place to debate this subject as it holds little immediate relevence to this article. In closing, I will say, however, that I am looking forward to a well-referenced and NPOV article by Ravenstorm on other possible origins of communication, and I do believe it could be a very worthy contribution to wikipedia. LinaMishima 02:41, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
And I admit that this discussion is indeed out of place. I will cease and desist all further comments... I promise not to even touch this talk page in the future, unless I really have to. Thank you for your patience. --Ravenstorm 04:27, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Lina, although I tend to agree with you and disagree with Ravenstorm on the content issue, his behaviour on this page is not trollish. We may disagree on talk, but please note that in content edits he does not engage in revert wars, and after the majority disagreed with him on talk he stopped adding the controversial insert. That in my book indicates a civil (I have to say he received more flame on talk then gave out himself) and most certainly a non-trollish editor.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  15:36, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

The use of communication vias[edit]

There are a very few sentences in the article which are not about the vias which are used in communication. Most of the article is a "history of communication symbols". The first part of the article mentions audio vias used in communicating. The article mentions that animals somehow might communicate and provides a link. But what is communication? Nothing much in the article about the steps necessary for a communication to take place. Nothing about an intent to communicate, about a duplication of the transmitted information by the reciever, nothing about the receiver then processing the duplication to understand what was intended to be communicated. But its an interesting "History of communication symbols". Terryeo 04:38, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Ekhm what is a via? And yes, the rest of the article needs to be developed, I had no time and will yet to translate the rest of my Polish article into English.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  04:45, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Hey Piotr! I'm going blue in the face holding my breath waiting for the rest of this article! Hope you haven't given up. Awien 22:38, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

All right, I'll add this to my more urgent 'to do' list. Feel free to bug me more, that will likely increase the speed I come back to this article :) -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  22:49, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Further suggestion for revision[edit]

Another change I plan to make is to delete the section on 'history of telecommunication'. A subheading for telecommunication is warranted, directed to a different Wikipedia article, as this is an article unto itself, or this could be moved to the "See Also" section. Sansoko (talk) 08:49, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

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