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Communication (from Latin "communis", meaning to share) is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behavior.
- The concept of communication includes all of those processes by which people influence one another... This definition is based on the premise that all actions and events have communicative aspects, as soon as they are perceived by a human being; it implies, futhermore, that such perception changes the information which an individual processes and therefor influences him.
- Gregory Bateson (1951) Communication: The Social Matrix of Psychiatry
- Human verbal communication can operate and always does operate at many contrasting levels of abstraction.
- Gregory Bateson (1955) "A theory of play and fantasy". in: Psychiatric research reports, 1955. pp. 177-178
- Evil communication corrupts good manners. I hope to live to hear that good communication corrects bad manners.
- Benjamin Banneker As quoted in Friends' Intelligencer Vol. XI (1854), p. 821
- The general rule of law is, that the noblest of human productions — knowledge, truths ascertained, conceptions and ideas — become, after voluntary communication to others, free as the air to common use.
- The Internet is a communication medium that allows for the first time, the communication of many to many, in chosen time, on a global scale.
- Manuel Castells (2001) The Internet Galaxy - Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society Opening, The Network is the Message, p. 2
- The dictionary definition of communication [...] includes the communication of goods and supplies. [...] But transport of goods is not communication in the sense we are adopting here, and does not raise the same subtle and difficult questions. What "goods" do we exchange when we send messages to one another?
- Colin Cherry (1957)On Human Communication. p. 9
- The theory of communication is partly concerned with the measurement of information content of signals, as their essential property in the establishment of communication links. But the information content of signals is not to be regarded as a commodity; it is more a property or potential of the signals, and as a concept it is closely related to the idea of selection, or discrimination. This mathematical theory first arose in telegraphy and telephony, being developed for the purpose of measuring the information content of telecommunication signals. It concerned only the signals themselves as transmitted along wires, or broadcast through the aether, and is quite abstracted from all questions of "meaning." Nor does it concern the importance, the value, or truth to any particular person. As a theory, it lies at the syntactic level of sign theory and is abstracted from the semantic and pragmatic levels. We shall argue … that, though the theory does not directly involve biological elements, it is nevertheless quite basic to the study of human communication — basic but insufficient.
- Colin Cherry (1957)On Human Communication. p. 10
- An undesirable society, in other words, is one which internally and externally sets up barriers to free intercourse and communication of experience.
- John Dewey (1916) Democracy and Education
- The power of communication of thoughts and opinions is the gift of God, and the freedom of it is the source of all science, the first fruits and the ultimate happiness of society; and therefore it seems to follow, that human laws ought not to interpose, nay, cannot interpose, to prevent the communication of sentiments and opinions in voluntary assemblies of men.
- Eyre, L.C.J., Hardy's Case (1794), 24 How. St. Tr. 206; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 99.
- The full impact of printing did not become possible until the adoption of the Bill of Rights in the United States with its guarantee of freedom of the press. A guarantee of freedom of the press in print was intended to further sanctify the printed word and to provide a rigid bulwark for the shelter of vested interests.
- Harold Innis, "Industrialism and Cultural Values", in The Bias of Communication (1951), p. 138.
- The priceless heritage of our society is the unrestricted constitutional right of each member to think as he will. Thought control is a copyright of totalitarianism, and we have no claim to it. It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error. We could justify any censorship only when the censors are better shielded against error than the censored.
- Robert H. Jackson, American Communications Association v. Douds, 339 U.S. 382, 442-43 (1950).
- When language is used without true significance, it loses its purpose as a means of communication and becomes an end in itself.
- Karl Jaspers (1933) 'Man in the Modern Age. p. 128
- Dreaming is not merely an act of communication; it is also an aesthetic activity, a game of the imagination, a game that is a value in itself.
- Milan Kundera, in The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984). as translated by Michael Henry Heim; Part Two: Soul and Body, p. 59
- Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which humans communicate than by the content of the communication. (p. 23)
- Marshall McLuhan (1970) From Cliché to Archetype
- All media of communications are cliches serving to enlarge man's scope of action, his patterns of associations and awareness. These media create environments that numb our powers of attention by sheer pervasiveness.
- Marshall McLuhan (2011) The Book of Probes : Marshall McLuhan. p. 23
- Without an understanding of causality there can be no theory of communication. What passes as information theory today is not communication at all, but merely transportation.
- Marshall McLuhan (2011) The Book of Probes : Marshall McLuhan. p. 362
- Evolution teaches us the original purpose of language was to ritualize men's threats and curses, his spells to compel the gods; communication came later.
- Gene Wolfe, "The Death of Doctor Island", Universe 3 (1973), ed. Terry Carr; reprinted in The Best of Gene Wolfe (2009).