Text connections – quality over quantity?

Gnarly Tree by Brian FarrellFrye was right. We’ve now moved the notion of reading horizontally rather than vertically online, and it is constantly changing the way we use text. This course has helped me gain a better understanding of how text has developed and perhaps even why some of these changes are happening today. But more importantly, it has also shown me how some of the same debates that we are now having about the impact of online spaces are really very similar to discussions that have already taken place many times over. The incorporation of a historical dialogue on the evolution of text has helped us greatly to frame any debate on what online spaces now mean to us, even if the online realm does represent a very different sort of medium.

The web has meant an explosion in access to much of humanity’s collective knowledge, but it can’t help but also feel in many ways like a repeat of lessons that we’ve already learned from the advent of moveable type, the library, or even the transfer of oral history to papyrus. These are interesting times ahead.


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2 Responses to Text connections – quality over quantity?

  1. vschrader says:


    Taking this historical walk through the evolution of text has been enriching and enlightening. I have enjoyed the exposure to studies on the media we choose to express ourselves and represent ourselves through time.

    I particularly like your photo choice here. It speaks to me as a light at the end of the tunnel so to speak, but here, the tunnel is a twisted and perilous path with the echoes of victorious climbs to the tops of those trees that both invite and challenge us to reach the apex.

    And yes, as I sit and reflect now at the end of ETEC 540: Text and Technologies, I see the influence of both oral and multimedia print in my response here… in addition to the influence of a love of nature – those now-rare times that the power is turned off and technology is abandoned.


  2. Annette Smith says:


    I also liked your choice of image, but for me it illustrated the organic nature of the way in which our communications technologies have ‘evolved’. As with the evolution of species, which is a one-way but not predetermined path, no-one alive 35,000 years ago could have predicted what twisted and convoluted forms of information transfer we were going to create. This is going to be fun.


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