With a foreword by Norman Denzin Communication and the history of technology have invariably been examined in terms of artefacts and people. Gary Krug argues that communication technology must be studied as an integral part of culture and lived-experience. Rather than stand in awe of the apparent explosion of new technologies, this book links key moments and developments in communication technology with the social conditions of their time. It traces the evolution of technology, culture, and the self as mutually dependent and influential. This innovative approach will be welcomed by undergraduates and postgraduates needing to develop their understanding of the cultural effects of communication technology, and the history of key communication systems and techniques.
Chapter Five: Building the Divided Self: Letter Writing
Building the Divided Self: Letter Writing
The public sphere comes into existence whenever and wherever all affected by general social and political norms of action engage in a practical discourse, evaluating their validity. (Benhabib 1992: 105)
Augmenting Human Existence?
A common fallacy about technology is that it necessarily augments and extends human capabilities. In this view, popularized in advertising hyperbole (‘Better living through chemistry’), technology is both the magician, pulling endless rabbits from his hat, and the magical boon itself. This fallacy arises from assuming that all forms of technology are comparable and that human actions in relationship with them are similar; they are not. From their original forms, tools do extend the human body and its capabilities. The hammer hardens and ...