At each stage, different communication technologies will change the perception of the world (see diagram below) :

A- Hunter-gatherers tamed the immediate environment through cave paintings.

B- The first people to build city-states and empires used the first alphabets.

C- During the Renaissance people reorganized human knowledge of the world through the use of the printing press.

D- Finally, television brought masses of people together around the home screen, notably focused on infotainment.

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At each stage, the dominant communication system creates a space of interaction and exchange :

  • that is more powerful and more complex than the previous one ;
  • where the amount of information processed is more important ;
  • where users are more and more literate ;
  • where merchants spaces become larger.

Finally, the hybrid systems of industrial eras I and II have woven together the analog and the digital. These hybrids are now leading us into a post-industrial era that will be fully digital.

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Communication today (see below)

Internet 2 promotes the development of new interactive forms of media writing, new search engines, new type of memory spaces (such as the Cloud, etc.). The new tools are bringing about a cultural reorganization of how information is accessed, organized and used :

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Thought patterns

Throughout history, at several key points humans have changed their modes of thought (see diagram above) :

A society based on magic

The era of the sacred: idols and their symbols and rituals. In order to control the magic, priests and leaders protect their powers and territorial resources.

A society of reason

The era of market-based rules and order belonging to regions, crafts, writing and accounting. The merchants and their mercenaries rule their city-state via sailing ships and steam engines and, finally, the printing press.

A society based on emotions

The era of mechanization and industrialization of production. Individualism triumphs ; and the world is portrayed by film and television images; society relies initially on the electric motor and electronics.