How Changing Communication Spaces Have
Forever Changed War

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Various communication spaces have played a crucial part in the evolution of warfare. They have been the catalyst to war, have prevented wars, and have changed the tactics and theaters that wars are fought in.

Acoustic Space


In acoustic space there is no verbal communication. Limiting humans to using body language, hand signals, and possibly basic grunting sounds. To communicate in acoustic space humans must be in extremely close contact with one another because they have to be able to see each other to interact. Only basic messages can be conveyed and the spread of these ideas are severally limited unless their subject of disccussion is directly in front of them. Having no verbs, nouns, or adjectives to discribe time and place makes this space especially unfriendly to war.


Tactics, which are the onfield battle orders, would be possible, but tricky. However, strategy, which is the overarching plan to fight a war, would be near impossible. Battles could take place, but how would soldiers know where to fight next? Do they continue on in a linear fashion of taking enemy camp after enemy camp? What happens if the enemy is counter-attacking their far away homes, how would people communicate that? One could argue that someone living at your home could run out and find the army, but how would they communicate the problem? With just pointing and body language how would you know the difference between your home is under attack from, their is a wildfire, or a soldiers wife had a child. Even if you could make out what a messenger was saying how many men would they send? I think the only way this style of fighting could possible work is either through multiple raids or just big clusters of men fighting.



Negotiations would also be severally limited if not impossible. How could two or more groups of people divide land or come to terms with any arrangment that is not spoken or written? If any formal agreement could be reached, it would be near impossible to explain the terms to any large amount of people.


If wars were happening during this time they were severally limited, probably more similar to raids. The problem with this space comes down to logistics and the inablity to convince others to fight. Coordination and tactics would go to the wayside when any large force was assembled. Information about enemies numbers and supplies would be very limited and without the ability to speak or write I couldn't image any way people would be able to develope or teach mathematics needed in conveying enemy numbers. I think armies would be limited in size by the inability to plan things out like supply lines and expenses. Wars would also be isolated to fixed regions of neighbooring peoples due to the inability to coordinate from a far in this space.

Confusion on the Field of Battle

Determining friend from foe would be rather hard as well. They would have to rely on some form of visual representation, such as body paint or tattoo markings. In the heat of a battle, especially a disorganized battle as these battles surely would be, it would be easy to mistake someone for someone else if they had blood or clothing covering their insignia. Without the ability to quickly ask if someone is friendly their could be a lot of friendly fire.

Oral Space

Round Table

Oral societies are far more capable of communicating complex ideas that would allow for conflicts to turn into wars. I think the key that opens oral societies into societies that can have full scale wars is the ability to give time, location, and numbers.

Mustering Armies and Populus

Whole communities could be moved to war. They could get behind an idea or a thing more easily when told by word of mouth. Scouts could communicate exact numbers of how many men their enemies are fielding and the readiness of their army. Orality allows for better logistics and a military hierarchy by leaders being able to give orders to other leaders of small groups of men. With orality comes language and with language rumors, lies, and facts that all can be used to manipulate or motivate a populus to war. Stories can be told of peoples greatness and battle, leading to a military elite of kings and queens.


Ability to Rule

The ability to rule and dictate one's will through language and explain why things are done a certain way allows for much more power men to emerge. Power corrupts and once kings obtain it they want to maintain and grow their power, thus creating more war. This space also allowed orders to be given from off the battlefield.


Complex agreements between two or more groups of people could be created and explained. Tributaries and vassal states could be formed and ordered to give tributes such as gold and metals to kings. National identities could be formed with their own language and oral histories. Councils could be formed to discuss strategy and negiotate with one another. Other members could be swayed into joining a war, and councils could decide on what strategies and tactics they would use. People could communicate how many arrows or spears they would need and where they would be relative to others and how long they would be gone for.


Oral space I believe opens up navel warfare. Roads, boats, and horse all become much more important for their ability to transport messages.

Writing Space


The invention of writing...


Bureaucracy and standarization are the beauties of writing space. Written records help people collect taxes and keep records. Exact wording, signatures, and official seals reinforces hierarchical structures of the military. Money wins wars and being able to manage and disrupt it is crucial in wartime. Improved logistics though better run governments, better organization, and planning allows for larger and better supplied armies.


Maps open up the world to be plotted and colonized. They allowed exploration to be more precise and allowed for colonization of far away lands. Writing allows for the formations of large nations with more centeralized governments that were more capable of commission ships and armies. Ships could trade more easily with map info and valuable resources could be found. This made the open ocean theater an up and coming place to defend nations trade wealth. Maps also could be used to navigate and locate enemies.


Knowledge is power. Books could be written and education slightly more easier to access. Famous books like the "Art of War" could be distributed. Letters, orders, and logs could be written, better informing higher ups what is happening on the frontlines. Scholars could dedicate time to study and information about the world could be gathered and stored, improving the developement capability of new wartime technology.

Radio Space


Lifting the Fog of War

The radio allowed generals to change battlefield tactics from a far and orders could come in immediately. Leaders could talk to their people all at once and raise war fever and moral. Radio and writing brought code breakers.


Radio allowed for an airforce. To coordination many fast flying planes in formation demands instant communication. Radio also allowed the airforce to support groundtroops, who could give targets from the field of battle. The airforce is useless unless it has reliable intelligence on where to strike. The radio also drove the need for radar with the prevalence of bombers and enemy fighters in the skies.

Digital Space


Digital Space allows for advanced simulations, instant communication from around the world, better storage of information, and incredible precision. Robotics allows for massive automative assembly line that can produce huge amounts of weapons and supplies. Unmanned drones are able to do precision bombing and can be controled from thousands of miles away. Enhanced medical tools and modern medicine can keep more soldiers alive.


Can take out electrical grids and communication with hacking. Can spread false information and sow discord in countries. Twitter is being used as a diplomatic platform.