Additive Media Model


© DanShaw.com

Abstract: Explication each sensory stimulus of communication, singly and agglutinatively, gives several geometric impressions and avenues for further development of new models.

Starting from Storytelling

For some time I have been considering building up a model of media from the spoken word, story-telling around a fire, the primal form of communication. As we add on technologies, including actors, costumes, sets, sound effects, lighting, camera, etc., certain possibilities increase. I have often thought this “additive” process would make an interesting basis for a presentation, a sort of “Broadway show” beginning with a storyteller, then adding in elements singly.

? What would be the sequence of such an additive process?

The Five-fold Sensorial Model

Considering all the five senses in such a process, the chart become multivariate and highly complex. One could alternatively begin with a film, and reduce elements, creating a subtractive theory. This would give us one axis of a multidimensional concept,

silence – Sound

dark (shadow) - Light

Black & white – color

Stillness – motion

Actors – animation




Language tracks


Along the other axis of the matrix we now have various media and “formats”:

Face to face silent & stillness

Face to face sound & still (or dark, no visual cues)

Face to face sound and motion


In the intersections of the stimulus column with the media column, we see how different channels of communication and media compare relative to their synesthetic and full-kinesthetic content.

Like electricity, it may geometrically spawn many new innovations, but by definition, a new technology does just one new thing. That new thing may be telephone (voice only) or “movies” (light-motion only) until they converge, e.g. as “talkies”.

Now we can see that various technologies are highly constrained to just one channel of communication, e.g., vocal for phones, verbal for text messages, etc. In other words, communication technologies and technologies in general are naturally somewhat frustrating.

? What would be a multiplicative model of communication?

Another possible chart might start: [Stimulus – perception]

Action Steps:


Mathematics; linguistics; Additive;

Length: Approximately # words




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