The Communication Technology Ecosystem
Communication technologies are the nervous system of contemporary society, transmitting and distributing sensory and control information and interconnecting a myriad of interdependent units. These technologies are critical to commerce, essential to entertainment, and intertwined in our interpersonal relationships. One of the hallmarks of the industrial revolution was the introduction of new communication technologies as mechanisms of control that played an important role in almost every area of the production and distribution of manufactured goods. Communication technologies play as critical a part in our private lives as they do in commerce and control in society. The most obvious aspect of communication technology is the hardware—the physical equipment related to the technology. The hardware is the most tangible part of a technology system, and new technologies typically spring from developments in hardware. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.