When I was a child growing up on my Irish grandparents' small, self-sufficient farm in southeast Kansas, I was intrigued by the notion of "communication." Having no one my age to talk to, I tried talking to the animals - and we had most kinds. I pretended that they pretended that they understood. So, I thought: that's the way communication works.
With their eyes rolling around in their heads, and their chewing gum as if it was a cud, I spent 40 years as a professor because it seemed I had come full circle. I did learn a lot on the trip.
Many years later, I am still intrigued by the notion of communication. I have the proper background for it - degrees in the humanities/literature, engineering, psychology, and a lifelong interest in music. For me, communication is the infrastructure for everything human. Talk, with oneself or with others, precedes everything. And this is crucial: communication is not about the "sender" but about the "receiver." All consequences flow from how the receiver interprets things. We may reify the "message." But there isn't one until the receiver says there is.
My new book, Communication! A Radical Philosophy for Life's # 1 Problem, is a sort of summation - after a lifetime of teaching and research - of perhaps how we ought to be thinking about it if we want to live in the world most people only dream about.
It is intended to enable you to think about in ways that are more grounded in reality than most of our academic and popular "theories" about it. If you better understand it, the more advantage you will have over it.