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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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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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The Word of God?

Neil Postman’s chapter on “The Judgment of Thamus” from his book Technopoly was a thought-provoking piece that called into question society’s acceptance of new technologies and their benefits and drawbacks. Specifically, “The Judgment of Thamus” looks at Thamus’ reaction to … 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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Effective Oral Storytelling: Yesterday and Today

Oral storytelling is a powerful tool for verbalizing experience and transferring knowledge within a culture and across generations. Within education, teachers have used oral storytelling to expose their students to ideas while modeling engaging ways to interact with an audience. … Continue reading

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Wait a Minute, Mr. Postman

In “The Judgement of Thamus”, Postman discusses the impact that new technologies have on society’s way of thinking (Postman, 1992). He claims that there are always costs and benefits to every new technology. Postman also believes that there must always … Continue reading

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Hard vs. Soft Determinism

Authors such as Walter Ong, Daniel Chandler, Martin Oliver, Jay Bolter and Neil Postman have written extensive works on the implications of introducing new technology on society. These writings serve to discuss the notion of a technological determinism and the … Continue reading

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Write & Wrong

Introduction In the first few weeks of our course, we have read and talked about two separate cultures – oral ones, and literate ones. In the past, especially, oral cultures have been thought to be more simple, primitive, and not … Continue reading

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Is The Virtual Library Doomed?

All Knowledge in One Place The desire to catalogue, reference, and house society’s vast collective of knowledge dates back to as early as the third millennium B.C. From ancient scrolls confiscated, copied and kept in the collections of the Library … Continue reading

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