<i>Love and Communication</i> is an intriguing philosophical and religious inquiry into the meaning of “talk” – and ultimately the meaning of “being human.”
Taking an historical approach, Paddy Scannell argues that the fundamental media of communication are (and always have been) talk and writing. Far from being made redundant by twentieth-century new media (radio and television), these old media laid the foundation for today’s technologies (AI and algorithms, for instance). Emphasizing these linkages, Scannell makes the case for recognizing what a religious sensibility might reveal about these technologies and the fundamental differences between a humanmade world and a world that is beyond our grasp. Drawing on the pioneering work of John Durham Peters, the book proposes that communication and love go together, which can be understood in two ways: as a human accomplishment, or a divine gift. Ultimately, the essential conundrum of today is highlighted: do we wish to remain in a human-human world, or are we in the early stages of a human-machine world, and a world defined by machine-machine interactions?
This book draws on a lifetime of academic work and the author’s personal experience. It will be of interest to scholars and students of media and communication, who will welcome this highly original and searching examination of love as communication.