Does our childhood throw out any hints of rules which once governed whole societies of adults for many, many thousands of years? Take, for instance, the oft-noted desire that children have for listening to the same story again and again--a fact which even cassette manufacturers have had to take into account in dealing with the market for their products. Does it shed any light on the rules of language by which a society of primary orality lived?
--Havelock, pg 68
I suppose, in a way, we could model children after the primitive non-literate nations of old. Kids learn and memorize information solely through physical (oral) interaction with the world around them. The more times a kid is told a story, the better he'll be at reciting the story on his own at some point. I really don't have the answers to the questions posed in this chapter of The Muse Learns to Write. But Havelock definitely forces his readers to think about the power of orality. For the first five years of their lives, they are dependent on verbal communication. Sure they learn some of the basics, like the numbers and the alphabet, but on the whole, kids need that interaction in order to thrive.
This relationship between children and oral communication definitely reflects the relationship between orality and ancient civilizations. Before they learned to write things down, they had to verbally enforce all important ideas. These people had to repeat the same "stories" over and over again, like children, but not because they wanted to hear them over and over again, but because they needed to do so in order to remember everything important.
Whenever I need to memorize something, I usually write it down over and over again, so I can definitely understand why these primitive people would speak it over and over again. While I still find writing things down to be easier for memorizing, I see the value in both.