One of Harold Innis's primary contributions to the field of communications was to apply the dimensions of time and space to various media. He divided media into time-biased and space-biased types. Time-biased media include clay or stone tablets, hand-copied manuscripts on parchment or vellum and oral sources such as Homer's epic poems. These are intended to carry stories and messages that last for many generations, but tend to reach limited audiences. Space-biased media are more ephemeral. They include modern media such as radio, television, and mass circulation newspapers that convey information to many people over long distances, but have short exposure times. While time-biased media favour stability, community, tradition and religion, space-biased media facilitate rapid change, materialism, secularism and empire.
Innis wrote that the interplay between knowledge and power was always a crucial factor in understanding empire: "The sword and pen worked together. Power was increased by concentration in a few hands, specialization of function was enforced, and scribes with leisure to keep and study records contributed to the advancement of knowledge and thought. The written record, signed, sealed and swiftly transmitted was essential to military power and the extension of government."
Miss Barkley was quite tall, She wore what seemed to be a nurse's uniform, was blonde and had a tawny skin and gray eyes, I thought she was very beautiful, there were racks of rockets standing to be touched off to call for help from the artillery or to signal with if the telephone wires were to be cut; I kissed her and saw that her eyes were shut, I kissed both her shut eyes, I thought she was probably a little crazy, It was all right if she was, I did not care what I was getting into, this was better than going every evening to the house for officers where the girls climbed all over you and put your cap on backwards as a sign of affection between their trips upstairs with other officers.
I always try to write on the principle of the iceberg. There is seven-eighths of it under water for every part that shows. Anything you know you can eliminate and it only strengthens your iceberg.
A frequently asked question is, "What percent of our communication is nonverbal?" According to Kramer, "94% of our communication is nonverbal, Jerry" (Seinfeld, January 29, 1998). Kramer's estimate (like the statistics of anthropologist Ray Birdwhistell [65%; Knapp 1972] and of psychologist Albert Mehrabian [93%; 1971]) are hard to verify. But the proportion of our emotional communication that is expressed apart from words surely exceeds 99%. (See below, Media.)
This structure which is present in every artistic genre, and has been for a long time, today tends to work as a mental structure, organizing the production and perception of products: the opposition between art and money (the "commercial") is the generating principle of most of the judgments which, in matters of theatre, cinema, painting, literature, claim to establish the frontier between what is art and what is not, between "bourgeois" art and "intellectual" art, between "traditional" art and "avant-garde" art.
Considering how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to view, what precipices and lawns sprinkled with bright flowers a little rise of temperature reveals, what ancient and obdurate oaks are uprooted in us by the act of sickness, how we go down into the pit of death and feel the waters of annihilation close above our heads and wake thinking to find ourselves in the presence of the angels and the harpers when we have a tooth out and come to the surface in the dentist's arm-chair and confuse his "Rinse the mouth—rinse the mouth" with the greeting of the Deity stooping from the floor of Heavens to welcome—when we think of this, as we are so frequently forced to think of it, it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes of literature.
The gruff murmur, irregularly broken by the taking out of pipes and the putting in of pipes which had kept on assuring her, though she could not hear what was said (as she sat in the window which opened on the terrace), that the men were happily talking; this sound, which had lasted now half an hour and had taken its place soothingly in the scale of sounds pressing on top of her, such as the tap of balls upon bats, the sharp, sudden bark now and then, "How's that? How's that?" of the children playing cricket, had ceased; so that the monotonous fall of the waves on the beach, which for the most part beat a measured and soothing tattoo to her thoughts and seemed consolingly to repeat over and over again as she sat with the children the words of some old cradle song, murmured by nature, "I am guarding you--I am your support," but at other times suddenly and unexpectedly, especially when her mind raised itself slightly from the task actually in hand, had no such kindly meaning, but like a ghostly roll of drums remorselessly beat the measure of life, made one think of the destruction of the island and its engulfment in the sea, and warned her whose day had slipped past in one quick doing after another that it was all ephemeral as a rainbow--this sound which had been obscured and concealed under the other sounds suddenly thundered hollow in her ears and made her look up with an impulse of terror.
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