Friday, April 15, 2011

A ramble.

The fundamentals of communication (the business we are in) haven't changed since Adam and Eve were naked. The principles of a good ad, which I posted a couple days ago were true when they were given to me in 1990, and they're true today. Of course, new technologies have arisen. Of course today's Shakespeare might be writing on Twitter. But the fundamentals of receiving and distributing information remain.

Now, of course, there are those who profit from saying "All is darkness. All past is junk. Only I know the one true way."

These are the people who are running around saying the fundamental rules have changed. Or, maybe more accurately, who don't appreciate the genetic core of how information is communicated. I would wager that for as long as there is sex, communications--whether they're interpersonal or commercial, travel on a course like this: 1) Introduction. 2) Interest. 3) Trial.

Last night I stumbled upon two things. One was a quotation from the mid-20th Century from the great William Faulkner. "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

Second, I came upon this by Robert Burton from The Anatomy Of Melancholy, by Robert Burton, published in 1652:

"I hear new news every day, and those ordinary rumours of war, plagues, fires, inundations, thefts, murders, massacres, meteors, comets, spectrums, prodigies, apparitions, of towns taken, cities besieged in France, Germany, Turkey, Persia, Poland, &c., daily musters and preparations, and such like, which these tempestuous times afford, battles fought, so many men slain, monomachies, shipwrecks, piracies and sea-fights; peace, leagues, stratagems, and fresh alarms.

"A vast confusion of vows, wishes, actions, edicts, petitions, lawsuits, pleas, laws, proclamations, complaints, grievances are daily brought to our ears. New books every day, pamphlets, corantoes, stories, whole catalogues of volumes of all sorts, new paradoxes, opinions, schisms, heresies, controversies in philosophy, religion,...Now come tidings of weddings, maskings, mummeries, entertainments, jubilees, embassies, tilts and tournaments, trophies, triumphs, revels, sports, plays: then again, as in a new shifted scene, treasons, cheating tricks, robberies, enormous villainies in all kinds, funerals, burials, deaths of princes, new discoveries, expeditions, now comical, then tragical matters. Today we hear of new lords and officers created, tomorrow of some great men deposed, and then again of fresh honours conferred; one is let loose, another imprisoned; one purchaseth, another breaketh: he thrives, his neighbour turns bankrupt; now plenty, then again dearth and famine; one runs, another rides, wrangles, laughs, weeps....

"This I daily hear, and such like, both private and public news, amidst the gallantry and misery of the world; jollity, pride, perplexities and cares, simplicity and villainy; subtlety, knavery, candour and integrity, mutually mixed and offering themselves; I rub I have still lived, so I now continue...left to a solitary life, and mine own domestic discontents: saving that sometimes, as Diogenes went into the city, and Democritus to the haven to see fashions, I did for my recreation now and then walk abroad, look into the world, and could not choose but make some little observation, not as they did, to scoff or laugh at all, but with a mixed passion."

No comments: