Category Archives: Commentary

Analyzing Julius Caesar through the lens of Ong’s Orality Framework

In his investigation of oral cultures in Orality and Literacy, Ong (1982) attempts to identify knowledge-sharing characteristics unique to these pre-literate societies. Many conclusions are drawn from literature that has been produced from “residually oral cultures,” cultures in which most … Continue reading

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Willinsky for Open Access to Scholary Publishing

More than a century ago, John Dewey claimed that the education system was limiting the individual and put forth his mandate for democracy in education. He foresaw a society where people shared learning experiences and where freedom of intelligence was … Continue reading

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A Weaker Memory?

Since Plato, perhaps even earlier, there have been fears regarding the absolute benefits of writing. Postman (1992) recounts the story of “The Judgement of Thamus” whereby Thamus issues dire warnings regarding his beliefs surrounding writing. As with all changes and … Continue reading

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Mark Antony in 2013: Power of Oration and Persuasive Rhetoric

Accepting that Western society is predominantly literate it is difficult for us to recognize the oral roots upon which our culture is founded. In fact it would be near impossible to consider how an artifact from a previous culture impacts … Continue reading

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Changing Thought Processes

In “Orality and Literacy: the Technologizing of the World,” Walter Ong (1982) explores the differences and similarities between two cultures. Although we “can only with great difficulty imagine what a primary oral culture is like”, since we are all, for … Continue reading

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Some Thoughts on Willinsky’s In Democracy and Education

In Democracy and Education: The Missing Link May Be Ours, John Willinsky (2002) makes the case for free and open access to scholarly research in education. Under the current paradigm, publishers, whose revenue is in the billions of dollars (Stevenson, … Continue reading

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Postman as soothsayer After reading the first chapter of Technopoly many readers may view Neil Postman (1992) as a technophobe. He decries the use of computers in education, claims technology redefines words like “freedom” and “history” and that those who … Continue reading

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The Library of Alexandria

As a librarian, I am continuously forced to go through a process known as weeding. Old books, which are outdated (encyclopaedias have a lifespan of five years), are removed from shelves due to space issues. That space used to be … Continue reading

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Technological Determinism in The Judgement of Thamus

In this commentary, I will examine Neil Postman’s “The Judgement of Thamus” with reference to aspects of technological determinism as outlined in Daniel Chandler’s “Technological or Media Determinism”. Although I’m not a staunch technology optimist, especially during a week when … Continue reading

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Commentary 1 “I Have Spoken”

In his essay “I Have Spoken” Hochbruck talks about the use of oral traditions in written texts.  He discusses how using the standard rhetorical closing formula of “I Have Spoken” brings to mind some notion of orality and authenticity to … Continue reading

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