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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, furthermore, 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.
- Louis Brandeis, (1918) International News Service v. Associated Press. A United States Supreme Court decision
- Die Gesellschaft hat kein gemeinsames Sprachrohr, solange sie in kämpfende Klassen gespalten ist.
- Society cannot share a common communication system so long as it is split into warring classes.
- Bertolt Brecht, A Short Organum for the Theatre (1949)
- All the evidence suggests that communication between people by whatever means, far from simply accomplishing its purpose, simply creates the need for more.
- John Brooks, "Xerox Xerox Xerox Xerox", The New Yorker; March 25, 1967
- No doubt, it is a very easy matter for them, in presence of an ignorant and credulous multitude, to insult over an undefended cause; but were an opportunity of mutual discussion afforded, that acrimony which they now pour out upon us in frothy torrents, with as much license as impunity, would assuredly boil dry.
- 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
- The harm which is done by credulity in a man is not confined to the fostering of a credulous character in others, and consequent support of false beliefs. Habitual want of care about what I believe leads to habitual want of care in others about the truth of what is told to me. Men speak the truth of one another when each reveres the truth in his own mind and in the other's mind; but how shall my friend revere the truth in my mind when I myself am careless about it, when I believe things because I want to believe them, and because they are comforting and pleasant? Will he not learn to cry, "Peace," to me, when there is no peace? By such a course I shall surround myself with a thick atmosphere of falsehood and fraud, and in that I must live. It may matter little to me, in my cloud-castle of sweet illusions and darling lies; but it matters much to Man that I have made my neighbours ready to deceive. The credulous man is father to the liar and the cheat
- 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
- Early states had a hereditary leader with a title equivalent to king, like a super paramount chief and exercising an even greater monopoly of information, decision making, and power. Even in democracies today, crucial knowledge is available to only a few individuals, who control the flow of information to the rest of the government and consequently control decisions. For instance, in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1963, information and discussions that determined whether nuclear war would engulf half a billion people were initially confined by President Kennedy to a ten-member executive committee of the National Security Council that he himself appointed; then he limited final decisions to a four-member group consisting of himself and three of his cabinet ministers.
- Jared Diamond (7 March 2017). Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 244. ISBN 978-0-393-60929-5.
- Speech is one symptom of Affection
And Silence one—
The perfectest communication
Is heard of none—
- Emily Dickinson, "Speech Is One Symptom of Affection". Poems, ed. T. H. Franklin (1955), no. 1694; Poems, ed. R. W. Johnson (1998), no. 1681
- 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.
- They communicate, but their communication system is though touch, posture, looks – body language you could call it, but it goes a bit deeper than that. They can learn 400 or more signs in American sign language.
- Jane Goodall Wanderlust #6 (2009) 
- 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
- Since balloons could not be flown back into Paris due to their erratic and uncontrollable flight patterns, the only means of getting information... was the carrier pigeon. Pigeons had been used to convey messages since antiquity, and a pigeon post... operated as late as 1850 by Paul Julius Reuter... proved... swifter than the railway in carrying stock prices between Brussels and Aachen. The carrier pigeons used in the Siege of Paris were able to carry much more information thanks to... microphotography invented by René Dagron. In 1859 Dragon had received a patent for microfilm, and over the next decade he produced... photographs shrunk to fit inside jewels, signet rings [etc.]... He also developed... a profitable sideline in pornography... enjoyed with the aid of a special magnifying viewer. During the siege, Dagron turned.. to more patriotic endeavors. ...photographing government dispatches, shrinking them.., printing them on lightweight collodion membranes.., and fitting as many as 40,000... into a canister strapped to the legs of a single carrier pigeon. The pigeons... encountering on their return to Paris... falcons specially trained by the Prussians. ...[T]he pigeons also carried personal communications.
- Ross King, The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism (2006) pp. 286-287.
- 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
- Good communication is stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea (1955), Ch. VI "Argonauta"
- 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
- In my experience, communication is a matter of patience, imagination. I would like to believe these are qualities we have in sufficient measure.
- Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Darmok" (30 September 1991) by Joe Menosky and Phillip LaZebnik. See also: Beginning of Youtube Video "Beginning Scene From the Episode Darmok" (04.10.2021) by user "April 5, 2063".
- The more we elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.
- J. B. Priestley, Thoughts in the Wilderness (London: William Heinemann, 1957), p. 201
- Most people don't know how to listen because the major part of their attention is taken up by thinking. They pay more attention to that than to what the other person is saying, and none at all to what really matters: the Being of the other person underneath the words and the mind. Of course, you cannot feel someone else's Being except through your own. This is the beginning of the realization of oneness, which is love. At the deepest level of Being, you are one with all that is. Most human relationships consist mainly of minds interacting with each other, not of human beings communicating, being in communion. No relationship can thrive in that way, and that is why there is so much conflict in relationships.
- Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, p. 81 (2005)
- 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).
- The Master Great Cultural Figure cannot be communicated with, at all.
- David Woodard, Breed the Unmentioned (1985)