Tuesday 18 June 2002

The missing spice

In a move that I hope encourages further discussion rather than providing premature closure via a (false) happy ending, U Blog faculty members stepped in to provide the nuance I craved.

Jeff Ward, Visible Darkness:

In some ways, I think the confusing night represented by hypertext has been turned to day by blogging. Isn’t it natural to ask why? I alluded to my opinion that it represents a change of consciousness which is deeply tied to the grammar involved. This is a difficult stance to explain concisely. It is an acceptance of a fairly hegemonic view in the education industry that language and thought are intimately connected.

For a capsule summary of the interface between orality and literacy, have a look at this excerpt from Vygotsky. In Vygotsky’s view of cognitive development, at an early age language turns inward becoming “inner speech.” This is different from literacy, however, what Ong and others have proposed is that the transition from speech to writing modulates inner speech, changing it into new patterns of thought. Radical changes brought about by writing changed consciousness As writing changes, we change.

Steve Himmer, One Pot Meal:

But still, a tool is not a point. G.P.’s words say his point, and a tool digs him down to his words, as it digs us down to our own. What is built with said tool, what is now known and surprising, that is our point—that is his point. Things coming known, coming out, through an act of forging such tools. At first a man, a woman (any man, any woman) knows to dig, not a spot. A spot is found, but ground is hard, unsplit, and tool shows a way to crack it. Without our tool, our digging would fail; without our digging a tool has no worth. Dig without tools? No way. Tools without digging? No why.

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