Tradition, Communication, and Group Size


Kathleen Ragan (Independent)

Considering traditions within cultural, community, and national environments, it is helpful to consider the impact of group size. From prehistory, group size and mode of communication have changed together, also changing the format and possibilities for tradition. At a group size of about 150, the development of language enabled better protection and complex tools. Writing enabled permanent infrastructure, division of labor, and books. Computer-mediated communication impacts everything from storage of older to invention of new traditions. We are entering the third revolution in human thought and must recognize how it is altering our way of thinking and our traditions.

Part of 51-05 Digital Discourse in Long-Term Perspective, Friday, October 22, 8:30 am–10:00 am