Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Sketch for an Evolutionary Approach to Print in the Communication Ecology

A gene in biology is like a meme in culture. They are both self replicators. As the self replicators looking at the evolution of the systems from the point of view of the gene or the meme is a good way to generate assertions than can be disproved by emprical evidence.

"Evolves to a collection of," shortened to ETACO to make it easier to write, is the area where the mechanisms of evolution happen. Articulating the mechanisms of change is the key to managing unintended consequences of interventions.

Sound ETACO Words ETACO Sentences ETACO Memes ETACO Narratives ETACO Language Culture

This is NOT a linear process. It would be better visualized as cloudy sky or schools of fish rather than a spread sheet or functions in n dimensions.

How Print fits into a system governed by the more, the more
In the beginning was the Word . . .King James Version, John 1:1.
A replicator that is bound by time and space
True writing is only thought to have developed independently in four different civilizations in the world, namely Mesopotamia, China, Egypt and Mesoamerica, from Wikipedia
A tool that speeds replication
The history of the alphabet begins in Ancient Egypt, more than a millennium into the history of writing. The first pure alphabet emerged around 2000 BCE to represent the language of Semitic workers in Egypt (see Middle Bronze Age alphabets), and was derived from the alphabetic principles of the Egyptian hieroglyphs from Wikipedia
A tool that leads to a phase change in replication speed and scale
Around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg introduced what is regarded as an independent invention of movable type in Europe (see printing press), along with innovations in casting the type based on a matrix and hand mould. Gutenberg was the first to create his type pieces from an alloy of lead, tin and antimony – the same components still used today.[5]
The tool set evolves
The Gutenberg press was much more efficient than manual copying and still was largely unchanged in the eras of John Baskerville and Giambattista Bodoni—over 300 years later.[9] By 1800, Lord Stanhope had constructed a press completely from cast iron, reducing the force required by 90% while doubling the size of the printed area.[9] While Stanhope's "mechanical theory" had improved the efficiency of the press, it still was only capable of 250 sheets per hour.[9] German printer Friedrich Koenig would be the first to design a non-manpowered machine—using steam.[9]
The tool evolves again