Cosma / Communication

The qualities that make humans beings unique are the ability to use symbols and the ability to use tools, so it is not at all surprising that the discipline that concerns itself with the use of symbols as a tool is one that can subsume all other disciplines and encompass the entirety of humanity’s accomplishments.” — M. E. Hopper


Chinese Whispers aka Telephone Game: Kid

Chinese Whispers aka Telephone Game: Teen

Chinese Whispers aka Telephone Game: Adult

Play the Telephone Game (WikiHow)
Chinese Whispers (Wikipedia)


Communication System
Cosma provides access to extensive knowledge resources organized around these basic elements of a communication system: Media (channel), Knowledge (message), Human (sender/receiver) and Noise (interference). See also System and Outline (Site Map)

Communication Content

The “DIKW Hierarchy”, also known variously as the “Wisdom Hierarchy”, the “Knowledge Hierarchy”, the “Information Hierarchy”, and the “Knowledge Pyramid”, refers loosely to a class of models for representing structural and/or functional relationships between the communication of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom. — Wikipedia

Most writers about the hierarchy refer to this passage from T. S. Eliot’s The Rock.

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? — T.S. Eliot, The Rock

Russell Ackoff popularized the hierarchy to categorize the content of communication.
From data to wisdom (Russell L. Ackoff, Journal of Applies Systems Analysis)
The wisdom of the world: Messages for the new millennium (Russell L. Ackoff, The Futurist)
On passing through 80 (Russell L. Ackoff, Systemic practice and action research)

See Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom

Other Related Subjects
Communication, transportation, information technology and commerce have also been inextricably intertwined since the beginning of human history, and they still remain closely related today.

“The success of the first electronic telegraph line in 1844 opened an era of modern communication in America. Before the telegraph there existed no separation between transportation and communication. Information traveled only as fast as the messenger who carried it.” — D. J. Czitrom, Media and the American Mind

This reality was even codified in the Dewey Decimal library classification system:
380 Commerce, communications, transportation

See Transportation, Information Technology and Commerce

Resources about Communication

These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…



Communication Resources Page (Cosma, You are here!)
Kurylo’s Communication Links Index
Communication Studies: Reference Resources (University of Michigan Library)


communication : a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior — Webster See also OneLook, Free Dictionary, Wiktionary

A Dictionary of Media and Communication (Daniel Chandler and Rod Munday, Oxford University Press)


ASIS thesaurus of information science and librarianship (J. L. Milstead Ed., 1994)
Roget’s Thesaurus
Roget’s II (, Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, Visuwords


Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information. Communication requires a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender’s intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast distances in time and space. Communication requires that the communicating parties share an area of communicative commonality. The communication process is complete once the receiver has understood the sender. — Wikipedia

International Encyclopedia of Communication Online (International Communication Association)
Encyclopedia of communication and information
Encyclopædia Britannica


Introduction to Communication Studies (John Fiske)


Outline of Communication (Mary E. Hopper, Cosma)
Outline of Communication (Wikipedia)



Communication studies is an academic field that deals with processes of communication, commonly defined as the sharing of symbols over distances in space and time. Hence, communication studies encompasses a wide range of topics and contexts ranging from face-to-face conversation to speeches to mass media outlets such as television broadcasting. Communication studies, as a discipline, is also often interested in how audiences interpret information and the political, cultural, economic, and social dimensions of speech and language in context. — Wikipedia

Communication Studies: A Resource for Students, Professors, and Professionals (Communication
Communication Studies (Wikipedia)

Foundations: Defining Communication and Communication Study (Laura K. Hahn and Scott T. Paynton, Survey of Communication Study)


Communication theory is concerned with the making of meaning and the exchange of understanding. One model of communication considers it from the perspective of transmitting information from one person to another. In fact, many scholars of communication take this as a working definition, and use Lasswell’s maxim, “who says what to whom in which channel with what effect,” as a means of circumscribing the field of communication theory. — Wikipedia

Communication Presentation
Communication Models (Steve Kaminski)


Innovations Report


Communication sciences refers to the schools of scientific research of human communication. This perspective follows the logical positivist tradition of inquiry; most modern communication science falls into a tradition of post-positivism. Thus, communication scientists believe that there is an objective and independent reality that can be accessed through the method of scientific inquiry. Research conducted under this tradition is empirically based but can be both quantitative or qualitative. — Wikipedia



Communication through the Ages Infographic (Atlassian)
The History of Communication through the Ages (Tim Lambert)
History of Communication (History World)
History of Communication (Wikipedia)
Timeline of Communication (History World)
History of Communication Timeline (
Timeline of Communication History (Brownville School District)


Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Communication
Charles Babbage Institute (CBI)
Museum of Broadcast Communications
Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation
Transportation and Communication Maps (Library of Congress)
Caring for antique communication devices: phonographs, radios, etc. (Smithsonian)


MIT Communications Forum
Internet Archive


Annenberg School for Communication Library (University of Pennsylvania)

WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library


Communication (Oxford Bibliographies)



K-12 Speaking, Listening, and Media Literacy Standards and Competency Statements (National Communication Association)


Knowledge systems 101: From Alexandria to Hitchhiker’s Guide (M. E. Hopper, 2000)
OER Commons: Open Educational Resources

Survey of Communication Study (Laura K. Hahn and Scott T. Paynton, Professor, Humboldt State University)
Communication Textbook (



Media and Communication Occupations ( Occupational Outlook Handbook)


Quotations Page


International Communication Association
International Association for Media and Communication Research
World Communication Association
National Communication Association
American Communication Association


International Conference on Media & Communication Studies


Journal of communication (Wiley)
Studies in Communication Sciences (Elsevier)


Communication and Mass Media Complete (EBSCOhost)
Communication Abstracts (EBSCOhost)


Worlds of reference: Lexicography, learning and language from the clay tablet to the computer (T. McArthur, 1986)
Information technology and civilization (H. Inose & J. R. Pierce, 1984)
Making connections: Communication through the ages (C. T. Meadow, 2002)
Ink into bits: A web of converging media (C. T. Meadow, 1998)


Ladder of Citizen Participation (Sherry Arnstein)


Freedom of Expression (American Civil Liberties Union)
Freedom of Expression (Freedom House)


Should we call it expression or communication? (Paul Ekman)


Humor Improves Communication (Paul McGhee,
Using Humor (David Straker, Changing Minds)

The Postmmodernism Generator: Communications from Elsewhere
Contact Project: Experiment in deciphering a simulated message from another planet (Lunar Institute of Technology)


Communication arts encompasses the art of human communication in an ever-changing technological society. Communication arts broadly includes studies and professions that deal with graphic and visual design such as graphic design, graphic arts, art direction, corporate design and other areas. People who work in communication arts include photographers, illustrators, typographers and graphic designers. Fields in communication arts also include journalism, screenwriting, public speaking, digital video production, feature writing and even film and television studies. Some academic programs have course tracks strictly devoted to advertising or public relations, as well as electronic media. This field has its own professional publications including Communication Arts, a journal that caters to those in the communications fields, whether they work with print or online. —

Communication Arts Magazine (Official Site)
Communication Arts Magazine (Wikipedia)


OEDILF: The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form


Song Lyrics


Mark Zuckerberg says the future of communication is telepathy. Here’s how that would actually work (Caitlin Dewey, The Washington Post)



Wiley: Journal of Communication: Table of Contents Table of Contents for Journal of Communication. List of articles from both the latest and EarlyView issues.