Ken Myers on the value of print as opposed to image.
“Such a loss could be described as a change in cultural sensibility. One cause of this change has been the rising dominance of image-based communication and the receding influence of print-based communication. In print, with words, one makes propositions. With propositions, one makes arguments and draws conclusions. These conclusions then become the starting propositions for further arguments. Thought, in a cultural atmosphere dominated by words, takes linear, logical forms, and naturally recognizes the difference between contradiction and noncontradiction.
One of television’s effects is the subtle inculcation of the assumption that it’s not very important to be able to work with words. Working with words requires working with logic. It requires habits of reason. It nurtures an appreciation for the profound and existentially compelling difference between truth and error. Thus, in a print-based culture, part of becoming educated is to develop a “feeling” for truth.”
Please read the entire, very brief, column: The Lost Beauty of Truth. Ken has one thing in mind in writing and that is very valuable. But I am wondering what the implications are as it pertains to weblogs.
Are weblogs, and internet reading in general, the last (popular) hope of propositional, linear truth-telling? We all know there are many problems with the internet and the habits it can encourage (like autonomy, immediacy). But there is also this wonderful interaction of minds (pooling of ignorance?) and attention to ideas that is hard to match elsewhere. Or is it just plain awful that we all aren’t sitting around beside fires reading poetry aloud, smoking our pipes, talking, drinking our tea, playing our own songs, and looking each other in the eyeballs?