Thursday, September 30, 2004

Shannon Weaver

I've come to believe that the Shannon Weaver model is indeed an important element when understanding communication on many levels. This belief has come from the fact that every communication class I have taken at Marymount has consisted of this model being beaten into my brain. Luckily though, as Stephanie Summers pointed out, this model has been in use for many years and continues to be used throughout modern technology today.

However, this is the first time that "redundancy" has been part of the in depth explanation. Redundancy occurs when information has gone through the transmitter, but the information is not new or has been repeated from previous messages. Shannon found that 50% of English level spoken is redundant in some form. This is fascinating because if you think about the information that you are given throughout any given day on any given topic, a good portion of that is redundant information. I guess you could say that like crosswords, English is redundant enough to make life challenging, but not to redundant to a point that its impossible to live. I think Katie Crueger brought up a great illustration of the redundancy in our language by using Madlibs, a game that we all played in middle school. In a way it is based on the redundancy we speak everyday to the point that they are able to predict the part of speech that we need to complete a sentence.

In a relation to noise, redundancy can be even more appreciated in our lives. "Noise" is around our environment on a constant basis and is always in conflict with messages that we are trying to get across. One could say this "noise" is what causes the majority of the problems in our lives, because our messages are getting skewed or distorted before they reach their given location. Thankfully for our redundant nature though, we are able to state these messages as much as possible until our point is taken. Example being, George W. Bush. His messages never seem to come out right the first time (perhaps from noises in his head), but after about the tenth try it seems to get to us! The debate tonight should illustrate this point wonderfully.


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