The Intellectual Technology Of Reading And Writing Essay

The Intellectual Technology Of Reading And Writing Essay

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The intellectual technology of reading and writing has been in existence for thousands of years. The Phoenicians, Sumerians, Greeks and Romans contrived some of the world’s first alphabets enabling universal writing systems that could be taught and understood through reading. Culture started changing from oral traditions into a literary culture as more people started to learn to read text and have access to printed words. A major technological breakthrough that enabled mass accessibility to the printed word was the invention of the Gutenberg Press. While books are still being printed on paper currently, distribution of intellectual technology has evolved into books being accessible online and via e-readers. Bibliophiles may decry the proliferation of reading electronically. However, once a technology has been introduced it is more likely than not that said technology will expand rather than fade away. In The Shallows, What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, Nicholas Carr predicts, “books will not remain exempt from the digital media revolution” (Carr 100) While Carr’s assertion is true, it is also factual that there are reasons to hold on to the tradition of reading printed books as well. The key to the future is fostering a dual literacy, a balance between print books and online books.
There are two different types or thinking, non-linear and linear. Non-linear thought involves thinking in a nonconsecutive manner, jumping from one thing to the next, for example reading text in a skimming fashion, such as webpages are commonly read. In linear thinking a straight path is usually followed and there is a beginning and an end, such as how a typical book is read. Our brains were cultivated into being able to have linear thought. Car...


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...ape the restrictions of its own genome and thus adapt to environmental pressures, physiologic changes, and experiences.’ (Carr 31). The fact that our brains are capable of change because of neuroplasticity supports the idea that we can develop a duel literacy. Our brains can adapt over and over again, learning new ways to process knowledge as we develop technology. Our brains can also be exercised to support retention of past knowledge as well. This adaptability ensures our future survival just as originally having solely non-linear brains helped us to sustain life through earlier times. Our intellectual experiences can be woven into knowledge bases that encompass both linear and non-linear thinking. As new neural pathways are built and old ones are pruned, a more fully literate brain can emerge, one that has the capacity to be the duel literate brain of the future.

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