Communication Through History: From Cave Paintings to Internet and Lucy.Me

Communication Through History: From Cave Paintings to Internet and Lucy.Me

Communication is a thing that is not bound only to us humans. Animals communicate in their own ways and even the same species can have dialects, different forms of communication or even languages. In one research, it was proven that cows not only have different dialects, but also that they sometimes can’t even understand each other if they are from different parts of the world. So “Moo” is not always a “Moo”. When it comes to humans, we’ve developed evolved to know what differences we must overcome to understand each other, and communication technology came a long way from cave paintings.

Me Tarzan, You Jane

cave pintings

Although scientists say that speech developed approximately 100,000 years ago, first written evidence of communication dates to 30,000 years ago. It is located in Chauvet Cave in France and dates to Palaeolithic era. Give Homo sapiens some 20,000 years and the next step from cave paintings are petroglyphs. They are essentially the same thing, but carved in the stone. Hey, it is more permanent so we guess that our ancestors though it was a good idea.

Early written communication was through symbols. Pictograms represented more physical objects and ideograms represented ideas or concepts. Although you may think that we have evolved far enough, we still use them today especially charts and diagrams that are pictograms and almost every traffic sign is an ideogram. But some 5,000 years ago, we moved on from symbols, and writing was invented.

Scribble, Scribble On The Wall…

egyptian hieroglyphics

Writing systems can be roughly divided in three categories. Logographic is primarily based on pictograms and ideograms, syllabic is based on syllables and alphabetic that is based on alphabet. All three of them started to develop in Bronze age and it is hard to categorise one unique system because all of them appear in any given writing system in varying proportions. First true alphabets were greek and latin. So, with developed writing, we can communicate, no?

Although smoke signals, drums and horns are prehistoric, first communication form that still exists today was developed around 6th century BCE and it was mail. Although there were pigeon carriers, heliographs, maritime flags and some mechanical acoustic experiments, the next really significant leap was in the late 1830’s when electricity helped to create a telegraph. 1870’s gave birth to telephone and 1890’s gave us radio. Radio was first widespread usage of wireless communication. Go to 1920’s and television, and we have developed first principles of all forms that we use today: electronic wireless audio and video communication.

Can You Hear Me Now? This Is Planet Earth!

old telephone central

Although principles and technology changed drastically over time, it is weird to imagine that worldwide communication existed before 1980’s when mobile and internet networks developed. But sometimes it gets too crowded and we can’t get a moment of silence because we are always and everywhere available to anyone. Yay for progress, nay for serenity! However, with that we developed different ways of managing our communication, so cue

Lucy is a personal phone assistant. It can help you with calling, SMS texting, emails and voice mail. When somebody calls you, you can choose to chat, talk or delay the call. It will also tell you if your contacts are available or not and remind you if you scheduled any delayed calls. Lucy supports several calling services like Skype, Google Voice or just plain regular calls. It is a handy app that consolidates several essential services into one place.

Communicating properly is not only a matter of good manners, it is essential for your sanity and time management. Getting too crowded with messages is easy and can help you to sort things out. So, communicate as much as you can, just don’t get overwhelmed!


Hrvoje Hrsto

Hrvoje is BA audio engineer graduate from SAE Institute in Ljubljana, currently freelancing and writing. His interests are music, television and all things geeky.

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