Saturday, October 20, 2012


Ah, good ol' books. I have bookcases full of them!  At one time the use of written language was restricted to a privileged class of people.  Nowadays anyone can own a book. Some say we are moving toward a post-literate society where written language will be replaced by video. As soon as humans think up an improved way to communicate, other humans try to control and dominate it. Other humans put themselves in this struggle. It's human nature.

But, think about this: we were educated with books at a time when every class of students, for years, used the same book. We all learned the same World History, from the same book, which provided a uniform interpretation of what happened in the past (indoctrination?).  Nowadays, students have unusual, unprecedented access to world history in so many different interpretations. All that is needed is access to the internet & the ability to use it. For maybe the first time in human history, children have a chance to know more about something (using the internet) than their elders do. People are using their smartphones to instantly upload video to the internet, including the abuse of power by police. History is being documented even as it's happening & before anyone gets a chance to control it.

In the midst of this revolution, there are people who have no interest in the internet & who do not own a smartphone. People who do not read, who own no books. People with limited verbal skills & terrible handwriting. People who get everything they know from the television. Somehow, they are all getting by.

My point is that people in control tried to control the use of written language and failed. Other people will try to control the internet, video, & smartphones. Some people will be players, other people will have no interest in the struggle. It is a good and interesting time to be alive!

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