What is writing?
Though this book was strictly a picture book with captions I found it rather enjoyable and informative for the most part. As we touched upon in the Plato reading people kept information in their heads before writing was highly popularized. We can't remember everything in our heads so it was a natural progression from oral to written culture. Pictograms, the earliest forms of writing really intrigued me the most when reading this text. The idea that writing began as a pictorially based practice blows my mind at times.
Early writing was made up of pictures of people, animals, symbols and objects. I also always found Hieroglyphics to be very interesting. I could not believe that the Egyptians were actually the first people to come up with the idea of toe tags (pg 12). That is really cool as well! Kudos to Egypt! I gather from the text that the development of writing and ways to write had a lot to do with resources that were available in different parts of the world.
It was neat to learn that at the end of Egyptian civilization the Greeks ruled Egypt and all the scribes had to master writing in a new way by using the Greek alphabet rather than hieroglyphics. This lead me to think about the changes in other early societies and the development of new communication form based upon conquest. Once any language was developed it was then a matter of having a constant supply of materials in any given area to record the information.
Kayla Sawyer's agenda item for this section of the text was something worth commenting on. On her blog she mentioned Greeks writing in a spiral and I noted that perhaps they were trying out new methods of writing in order to utilize all of the paper that they had. The book mentioned a constant supply and demand surge for writing materials once writing caught on.
Daniella Choynowski blogged an agenda item that I believe really went well with her personality. She wrote that "music is a language in its own right" which I thought was a really cool part of the text. Music being described as a language is a brave statement to make. To many people it is just a bunch of symbols on a page, but to a musician it is a language that they know and understand. I think again of Chinese being foreign to me as music would be as well.
In response to his agenda item, I asked Chris Ulicne the question: do you think with the growth of technology that some day the manuscript will be phased out completely?