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Historical perspectives on human identity

The establishment of providence establishes universal history, the total presence of the human spirit to itself in idea. (McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy 250)

This passage relates to an insight I stumbled upon in my paper, the notion that writing (particularly after the transition to print and digital cultures) collectivized human history and created a universal sense of human identity that didn't exist before writing itself was invented. Everyone, regardless of culture or religion or other factors, feels to some extent that they share in a history with the rest of the world that provides a sense of human identity on a global scale.



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Dave, it's interesting that you mentioned religion--religious texts, especially had a huge impact on bringing together communities of people from all over the world. For the first time, standardized texts could be produced in vast quantities and made cheap enough for them to be available to most members of a particular faith.

This is perhaps on the impacts on print culture that so be expanded upon more. The sense of a "collective" atmosphere change our sense of unity as well as our notion of humanity. The standardization of writing/language helped bring not only ideas together, but people of different race, sex,gender etc. as well

I sort of touched base on this subject in Kayla's blog. Print developed a community, this created a universal understanding of words and how they relate to others in a world that did not exist before them.

identity. I can see how that plays out alot better with digital writing culture. I bet we feel the same about it as an ancient scribe felt about his place in ancient writing society.

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