posted Aug 08, 2003
in Communication Ethics

Communication Ethics book part for Concrete Part of Communication. (This is an automatically generated summary to avoid having huge posts on this page. Click through to read this post.)

The concrete parts of a given message are the parts of the message that can be adequately handled by modeling them as expressions. The reason for this is that they are effectively static expressions, changing only with the direct help from humans, which then makes new expressions.

Take CNN's homepage . While the page that you view is quite dynamic, it consists of lots of little pieces that are static, like photos, news article intros, and headlines. Each of those individual pieces are effectively static bits of information, swapped out over time with other static bits of information, under the control of some computer program running at CNN. "The page located at http://www.cnn.com/ " changes extremely frequently, but the individual parts of it do not.

Also, the program that is knitting all these pieces together is itself static, with changes occurring only when a human intervenes. If you look somewhere, there is some code on some computer somewhere doing all this work. This program can be treated as a single concrete object. Even something as unstable as a search engine result page still consists of a database of processed web pages, which are static bits of data, and some program that assembles them, which has a discrete existence.

All communication, no matter how dynamic, must draw from some pool of static parts. The static parts may be very small, down to even individual letters or numbers (which themselves may not meet the creativity criterion for copyright), but they must exist somewhere.

 

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