We take it all for granted these days: radio, television, computers, internet and we know that these media play an important role in our life.
The media are a terrific way to spread ideas, information, music and entertainment, but what we easily forget is how new this way of communication is.
It is the legacy of the 20th century and in the 40.000 years before that century this communication process was only based on verbal, written or pictorial sources.
Nowadays electronic media, in particular television, but also radio, are generally considered to be more influential than the writing press.
That was different in the 1920s. The principles of the radio were known since 1873, when the Scot James Clerk Maxwell and the German Heinrich Hertz did their first experiments.
The first radio broadcast was provided by Pittsburgh in 1906 by Reginald Fessenden. It was on Christmas Eve and the broadcast was received by ships at sea.
Of course everyone saw the potential of radio with respect to news programs and educational programs.
And then it is interesting to see how this medium develops in different countries.
After World War One, the medium was so developed that it seemed to be able to conquer the United States - as the ideal medium to unite the vast country.
The director of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), David Sarnoff, argued for a broadcasting system that would not only fill the pockets of the owners.
In fact, he wanted a public system that, in addition to providing entertainment, would also have the purpose of developing the public.
Unfortunately, America's only business was business. The 'radio boom' assumed such a volume that 1105 radio stations already existed in 1924.
Most were tiny and over half did not make it, with the result that the radio was dominated by advertisements and the interests of the advertisers from the start.
The development of the radio broadcasting in Great Britain shows a real fear of the bad influence the radio could have on the provision of information and taste.
The 'establishment' therefore considered central regulation to be of the utmost importance. 'Chaos in the ether' had to be prevented at all cost.
To start with, a few large companies got licenses for experimental broadcasts. Shortly afterwards, in 1922, manufacturers of radio sets formed a syndicate, the British Broadcasting Company.
The company was financed by the Post Office, which received a small amount of radio listener money from everyone who bought a radio.
No advertisements should be broadcast, because this would be 'vulgar and intrusive'.
Four years later, the syndicate was transformed into the British Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC, a public institution that was free from political interference under a Royal Charter.
A very special radio broadcasting system developed in the Netherlands. A first broadcast was November 6, 1919.
In contrast to countries such as the United States, where many commercial broadcasters arose at an early stage,
and countries such as the United Kingdom, where state radio came into being,
a system with independent broadcasters emerged in the Netherlands, which shared the channels.
Soon there were two channels. On one, the catholic KRO and reformed NCRV, on the other, the "general/humanistic" AVRO and the socialist VARA.
The broadcasting time of the liberal Protestant VPRO was divided between both channels. Advertisements were not allowed.
It is interesting to see how the philosophies and political views on how to organize a society can be understood per country, based on how radio developed.
We could ask ourselves, what has become of these philosophies and political views in relation to the media.
Thank you for your attention again....
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Peter Watson: A Terrible Beauty (2000)
Peter Watson: A Terrible Beauty (2000)
[13:15] herman Bergson: The floor is yours...^_^
[13:15] Ciska Riverstone: thank you Herman
[13:16] CB Axel: So, one of the channels in the Netherlands is run by religious institutions?
[13:16] herman Bergson: What struck me was, that the developments so clearly mirror its society...
[13:17] herman Bergson: Let me get to that in a minute CB...
[13:17] herman Bergson: The US is totally commercial...business as usual...
[13:17] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ty Herman
[13:17] CB Axel: Yes. The religion of the US: Capitalism.
[13:18] herman Bergson: The UK is a class society....the ere is a distance between the Upper class and the rest and they decided about the state radio
[13:18] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): A note: the Canadian Broadcasting Company was formed in 1936 in 2 languages. It is a Crown Corporation subsidized by the Canadian government and has no commercials on the radio.tho it does on TV.
[13:18] herman Bergson: In the Netherlands all religious groups organized themselves in societies....
[13:19] druth Vlodovic: the concept of a "right way of doing things" not dependent on what people like, but what they should like, if they were sophisticated
[13:19] herman Bergson: Kind of British way, it seems Aph...
[13:19] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): yes- intent on promoting "Canadianness"
[13:19] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): like our National Film Board
[13:20] bergfrau Apfelbaum: to much Spam is still vulgar and intrusive, .. in the postbox, mailbox, SL, and so ...
[13:20] druth Vlodovic: there was an episode of "Yes Minister" called "patron of the arts" on this attitude :-P
[13:20] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): It is a nationalistic institution
[13:20] herman Bergson: Yes...in the UK and in the Netherlands this "educational" dogma was the leading priciple
[13:20] CB Axel: I should watch that again. I loved "Yes, Minister."
[13:20] druth Vlodovic: serving the needs of society, rather than that of broadcasters
[13:20] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): Canadian programming for Canadains
[13:21] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): there are still rules about what percentage of the content must be Canadian
[13:21] herman Bergson: In the Netherlands all religious groups wanted to bring their message....
[13:21] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): were there many?
[13:22] herman Bergson: five...
[13:22] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): that's enough to keep the radio humming!
[13:22] herman Bergson: catholic, reformed, liberal protestant, and humanistic
[13:22] druth Vlodovic: if they all shared a radio station they can't have been that much at odds
[13:22] Aph (aphrodite.macbain) ponders humanistic
[13:23] herman Bergson: The did share studios....
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so radio was more or less created for propaganda, like a trojan horde
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): horse
[13:23] druth Vlodovic: I actually like humanism being referred to as a religion, since it is an ideology
[13:23] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): (I rather like horse)
[13:23] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): horde
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not for good use but to manipulate people
[13:23] herman Bergson: It was not that bad Bejiita :-)
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i was not around when radio was born so
[13:24] druth Vlodovic: unfortunately people have gotten better at propaganda since then
[13:24] druth Vlodovic: or so it seems
[13:24] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): Can we help that? Almost any message can manipulate
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:25] herman Bergson: Well we have to keep history in mind....
[13:25] herman Bergson: In the early days the big question was....
[13:25] herman Bergson: Now we can reach a lot of people by radio, wherever they are in the country....WHAT should that radio message to the people....
[13:26] herman Bergson: The US choose for business....advertisements....
[13:26] herman Bergson: and I talk about 1926 or so...
[13:26] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): before ww2
[13:26] herman Bergson: the UK choose for an upper class culturally elevating appraoch...
[13:26] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): the feeling of nationalism was high then
[13:27] herman Bergson: and the Dutch were split up along religious/ideological lines......and we find a compromise...
[13:27] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): nods - compromise was the best solution
[13:28] herman Bergson: every group his own broadcastings...equally shared or depending on the number of members of your broadcasting society
[13:28] herman Bergson: Now it is interesting to see what changed after WW2
[13:28] druth Vlodovic: it was also an age of ideologies, fascism, socialism, communism, do you think mass media had a hand in making this come about, or did it just ride on top of it?
[13:29] herman Bergson: For instance....Dutch radio and TV have commercials now
[13:29] Gina (georgina.acker): that didn't come easy
[13:30] herman Bergson: In the early 20 radio was booming, but the written media were definitely still more influentual till WW2
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i suppose every country have almost now
[13:30] Aph (aphrodite.macbain) thinks about the way radio broadcasts were used to undermine the enemy of give the British fighters hope
[13:30] herman Bergson: To mention one....Reader's Digest...
[13:30] herman Bergson: In WW 1 all parties used radio for propaganda
[13:31] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): nods
[13:31] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): a fair amount of 'fake news' was distributed from all sides
[13:31] CB Axel: Radio waves don't respect national frontiers. They can spread propaganda very easily. °͜°
[13:32] herman Bergson: But as you see.... the rise of radio tells us a lot about political views of countries
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: like the www , cb?
[13:32] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): nods especially if they were subsidized by the government
[13:32] druth Vlodovic: how did Germany organize theirs?
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: we got a regional system after ww2
[13:32] herman Bergson: After WW2 we had Radio Free Europe....mainly directed at the countries behind the Iron Curtain
[13:33] herman Bergson: Also interesting is to think about the question how Internet changes the position of radio and TV in the media landscape
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aa that is true
[13:34] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): The internet seems chaotic
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: yes - communication in free fall
[13:34] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): more rules in radio and tv
[13:34] herman Bergson: It is all too much to discuss this here now...but I give you just a few thoughts to think about, look into it
[13:34] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): listens
[13:35] herman Bergson: I gave you a few thoughts , I meant Aph ^_^
[13:35] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): ah thanks :)
[13:36] herman Bergson: The main point is the philosophical stand of WONDERING about why things are as they are...
[13:36] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): nods
[13:36] herman Bergson: Like I wonder about what we inherited from the 20th century regarding radio
[13:37] druth Vlodovic: I wonder if mass media lent itself to the mass disillusionment of the 20th century or if that was already coming
[13:37] herman Bergson: For instance....I don't yet know how they managed to divide the broadcasting time in the Netherlands along religious and ideological lines....
[13:37] druth Vlodovic: if you look at surviving mediaeval literature a lot of it seems very cynical
[13:38] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): I learned about classical music listening to the radio -- it wasn't available to me otherwise...
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: I bet the fact - checking in medieval times was pretty difficult
[13:39] herman Bergson: As you see...this subject creates a lot of questions
[13:39] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): lol Ciska
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: ;)
[13:39] herman Bergson: That is why the Middle Ages were so full of superstition, and witches for instance, Ciska
[13:39] Gina (georgina.acker): we have choice stress now
[13:40] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): :)
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: we do gina - we do
[13:40] herman Bergson: I can imagine Gina :-)
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ㋡
[13:40] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): It implies we must know more in order to make these choices usefully
[13:40] herman Bergson: So, I think it is the right moment to find some relaxation....:-)
[13:41] herman Bergson: Unless you want to add some more choices or questions :-)
[13:41] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): how do you mean?
[13:41] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): the right moment
[13:42] herman Bergson: I mean...to prevent getting to much stressed by to many choices now, it is a good moment to end our discussion and safe Gina :-)
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well this was some interesting thought for sure
[13:42] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): ah
[13:42] CB Axel: It is interesting how different countries handled that new medium.
[13:42] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): It would be interesting to discuss Marshall McLuhan sometime- he talks about all this
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: communication for sure alters the world somehow.. and any medium that adds up to that... seems to create change...
[13:42] herman Bergson: So, let me thank you for your good participation ...
[13:42] CB Axel: It's still happening. Like how some countries block the internet.
[13:43] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:43] herman Bergson: Ahh interesting idea Aph....we might get to him indeed
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman:)
[13:43] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): great!
[13:43] herman Bergson: I'll make a note of it!
[13:43] Aph (aphrodite.macbain): Thank you!
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ㋡
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman - thanx everyone
[13:43] druth Vlodovic: protect people vs deal with the consequences vs let them deal with their own consequences
[13:43] druth Vlodovic: thanks Herman
[13:43] herman Bergson: Thank you all again....:-)
[13:44] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....
[13:44] Gina (georgina.acker): thank you Herman
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well cu next time then