Communication systems have characteristics or attributes that emerge as a function of our attempts to make use of them. Herbert Simon, in "The Sciences of the Artificial" (1968) regards the attributes of a system as an important aspect of what he calls the "inner artifact". The importance of characteristics to our understanding of new media is evident in the rhetoric that usually emerges in the early stages of a medium's development. Descriptions of the new medium almost invariably focus on a small number of characteritics that differentiate the new medium from prior media and make it useful.
Foulger (1990, 2002) goes further in describing a specific developmental relationship between the "mediators" (see MediatorsAndMedia) or constituents (Simon's preferred term) with which a medium is built, the characteristics or attributes of a medium, and the uses to which we apply a medium. Specifically, mediators enable characteristics and characteristics enable uses (see ?UsesOfMedia).
| -- Last edited September 18, 2015 |
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