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Creating a New Writing Technology

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Creating a New Writing Technology

"Writing, in the strict sense of the word, as has already been seen, was a very late development in human history. The first script, or true writing, that we know was developed among the Sumerians in Mesopotamia only around the year 3500 BC, less than 6,000 years ago. The alphabet, which was invented only once, so that every alphabet in the world derives directly or indirectly from the original Semitic alphabet, came into existence only around 1500 BC" (Ong, 323).

Writing has been around for a short time, but language has been around for as long as humans. It's amazing to see how much the written word controls our lives. You can't do anything; go anywhere, without seeing some form of print. You turn on the television-an add pops up. You go outside-signs everywhere. And what is even more amazing, constantly, new technologies are evolving to improve the way we write-computers, the pencil with an attached eraser.

Because of the importance placed on writing and writing technology in today's society I have decided to conduct an experiment. What happens when the "technology" is taken out of the writing? I will attempt to create a new writing technology, with primitive objects, and use it to write a short, twenty word, text.

While conducting this new experiment, a couple of issues posed problems. First, I could only use materials found in nature. This was difficult because of the rarity of "natural" items in this day-and-age.

Second, I had to keep in mind the permanence of my project-how long the text I created could be expected to last. It was somewhat difficult to do this because a particularly creative and natural "invention" might not be all that permanent, and vice-versa. With these creating problems for me, I didn't find the inventing process easy. I tested a variety of objects. Such as food, grass, dirt, leaves, and mud.

The food was too messy, and it didn't last that long. I gathered several items from my kitchen, and decided to experiment. I tried a banana peel, but it ripped easily, and turned completely brown within minutes. I soon exhausted ideas to use other foods, such as apples-they go bad too quickly. Nuts-too fragile; and cheese-not "natural" enough. From these experiments, I concluded that food items would not make good writing technologies.

Grass seemed, at first to be an excellent idea.
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