Monthly Archives: September 2012

Farewell to Fixity: The Virtual Library Fantasy

In “The Virtual Library: An Idea Whose Time Has Passed,” cultural historian James J. O’Donnell challenged the ideal of a virtual library. The present-day version of this ideal – a universal, digital library that includes all the world’s literature from … Continue reading

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Bringing School Change Through Technological Determinism

Technological determinism as described by Warschauer, is a phenomena in which “the mere presence of technology leads to familiar and standard applications of that technology, which in turn bring about social change” (2003, p. 44). With this in mind, technology … Continue reading

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A Universal, Virtual Library – Coming Soon?

Humans have always felt a need to record and preserve information for later access. Tracing back to Mesopotamia, libraries have functioned to collect, organize, and retain the writing of a culture. As we step further into the digital future, not … Continue reading

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The Influence of Writing on Thought Processes

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” (Einstein, as cited in BrainyQuote, 2012). “The best [science writing] flows like poetry; the worst actually impedes progress of science” (Jared Diamond, as cited in Kovac & Sherwood, … Continue reading

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Virtual Libraries: The Question of Copyright

In their discussions of the creation of online libraries through the scanning of texts, both Kelly (2006) and Grafton (2007) highlight the potential that this trend has in making texts accessible to a much larger percentage of the world population … Continue reading

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From Orality to Print: How Memory Aids Saved the Epic Tale

In his book, Orality and Literacy, Walter J. Ong compares the differences between how oral and literate cultures communicate knowledge. Chapter 3 specifically addresses the qualities of primary oral cultures in contrast to the chirographic, typographic and literate cultures of … Continue reading

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Orality – past and present

Initially being introduced to the topic of orality and literacy, the link between the two seems necessary and dependent upon each other. Orality has existed for a much longer period than literacy. But the eventual introduction of written text seems … Continue reading

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Is Determinism Too Determined?

Is Determinism Too Determined? Introduction Ong (1982) poses that the technology of writing enables us to reach our full potential, that we can gain a higher consciousness, and to “live and to understand fully, we need proximity but also distance” … Continue reading

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Writing – An Autonomous Discourse for a ‘Fictional’ Audience

The act of writing might be isolated but to be a good writer in order to reach what Ong (2002) called the ‘fictional’ audience (p. 100), I believe, is to use the ‘right’ written words, the ones that reflect our … Continue reading

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What was the Judgement of Thamus?

Commentary 1: What was The Judgement of Thamus? Neil Postman begins his book Technopoly: The surrender of culture to technology with the Judgment of Thamus in order to elucidate “several sound principles” (p. 4) to guide his thinking on the … Continue reading

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