My Self-directed Learning
During the first half of the semester, I focused a lot on the evolution of the book through history, starting with early church fathers hand-writing books, and so on. I read a lot in "The Discoverers", mainly in part IV, where it talks about geography, mainly the invention of the map. I read part XIII in this book as well. I said in my learning log regarding this chapter, "I learned about the first mediums of what people wrote on ... and the section also talked about book printing and the size and type of font for the books, and how these made carrying small books convenient." This helped me see one of the beginning stages of the evolution of the books, before the church fathers wrote their books, and after, when the printing press was making font font size, and how that rose to further inventions for the book. I also read various Wikipedia articles about the Protestant Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, knowledge, literacy, the various time periods we were studying, as well as articles about the actual evolution of the book, and its products, like E-books and iBooks. This helped shape my thinking about how people were living during these time periods, and what needed to happen in order for them to create each step in the evolution of the book, especially in the 20-21st centuries when more people found it convenient to read from a screen.
My Evolving Project
For my individual project, my first (main) argument was that book evolution creates a social divide because it was book evolution that first started this slew of digital media that is hurtng relationships. This was my first post, and Jackson pointed out in a comment that reading books enhances his relationships, so I decided to tweak my argument a little. I made it not so broad and said that this digital media that came from this book evolution is not hurting relationships, but is hurting society/civilization as a whole--civilization is hurt because relationships make up society. In a later reconstruction of my post, I followed Dr. Burton's advice and broke it down just a little more by saying that this is hurting communication as well, bringing it down to a very personal level. This idea of media hurting communication in civilization was brought into Laycee, Tailor's, and my group project. Laycee said that screens are creating a barrier between people, and Tailor said that people are losing their identity because of our digital modern culture. These all shape the main argument that technology and media is making communication and relationships deteriorate.
Communication and History
Communication is central to history and society because it is communication that makes a society, be it books, physically speaking to people, or digitally. It is central to history because it pretty much makes up our history since communication has changed and developed throughout the course of history. For example, like what I studied the majority of this semester, the evolution of the book was something that happened as history went on, and the medium of books was the way people communicated during their period of time. It is this history, this evolution of the book, technology, sciences, and so forth that changed my understanding of the contemporary world (today). This is because the things that were invented or started in history was a foundation of what we have now today--the written book in the 1600s was a foundation that needed to be there for today's digital media (and the book inventions in between), working in the fields was a foundation to factory work during the Industrial Revolution, which was a foundation to manual and business work now, the Scientific theory was the foundation of many scientific discoveries now, and so on. Our means of communication affect society in the past because, like it was already said, communication in the past spring-boarded communication in the future; the past gave us something to work off of. It affects society in the present because we are always finding different ways to communicate, be it new inventions, or new lingo. It is mainly digital communication that people use now in the present, and those new inventions will most likely be a digital product, and people would be using that new lingo on those devices. Communication will continuously change, no matter the medium, and in turn will change society because communication keeps society together.