CS100 Midterm notes

Topics: Writing, Printing press, Communication Pages: 6 (1159 words) Published: October 24, 2013
CS100 Midterm Review
Question 1: What were the strengths and weaknesses of the clay token system? What is its significance to human communication?!

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Strengths:!
- the system was simple!
- forms of tokens were plain and easily duplicated!
- clay was easy to use and requires little to no skill!
- one to one correspondence!
- tokens stood for units of goods - could be meaningful in any dialect! - the code allowed new performances in data processing and communication! - first mnemonic device able to handle and store unlimited quantity of data! - it brought more flexibility in manipulation of information by making it possible to add, subtract and correct data at will!

- it enhanced logic and rational decision-making by allowing the scrutiny of complex data! - code was also timely!
- fulfilled new needs for counting and accounting for agriculture! - other document…!
- allowed for easy communication between people who didn’t speak the same language! - use of common material, clay was accessible to all!
- clay was found abundantly in nature and easy to use!
- the accessibility made it convenient !
- simple and easy to learn!
- each symbol represents a different “product”!
- each token had a single possible meaning!
- early stages of economic accounting!
Weaknesses:!
- the volume of tokens constituted a major short coming!
- tokens would be easily manipulated!
- tokens were easily misplaced!
- clay is fragile, once broken its value is gone!
- easily counterfeited !
- hard to represent abstractions, cant represent words!
- the meanings could be misinterpreted !
- difficult to carry in large amounts!
- was restricted to keeping track of small amounts of goods only! - difficult to use for permanent records!

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Significance of human communication:!
- the system was spread out all through the near east!
- everyone knew what it was!
- it was easy to communicate that way!
- greatest novelty was that it created a system!
- they were a useful way of counting!
- formed a code which is universally understood even between those who didn’t speak the same language!
- laid the groundwork for the invention of pictographic writing!

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CS100 Midterm Review
Question 2: Explain the fundamental relationship between the birth of writing and mathematics (Logan 45).!

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although both the systems of writing are independent, they are brought together from impressed token logograms!
they found out the concept of forming together 26 letters to make up every word, allowed them to use 10 digits with mathematical symbols to come up with every number! the greeks also didn't believe in the number “0”, they thought the idea of having “nothing” was unrealistic and made no sense!

allowed for the creation of non real numbers (ex. decimals)! also allowed for the invention of the numerical order (ex. 1,2,3)! writing and mathematical notation were used to store the verbal or mathematical words of spoken language!

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Question 3: Discuss the origins of writing.!
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there are many theories of how writing originated!

- scholars now accept that writing began with accountancy!
- early cities of mesopotamia reached a point where memory was no longer an option to -

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govern a city; they needed something to record transactions in a dependable and permanent form!
its thought that the first written symbols would have been pictograms! some scholars believe that writing was the result of a conscious search by an unknown Sumerian individual!
others believe it was the work of a group, most likely a clever group of merchants! others think it was an accidental discovery, result of an evolution over a long period! the most popular theory is that writing came from the clay “token” system as a substitute of two-dimensional signs!

Question 4: Why is the experience of sound so important for understanding communication in an oral culture?!

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its important because an oral culture has no knowledge of...
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