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EL336: Ong: Move Over Bacon, Technology is Coming in!

"Writing is an intrusion, though an invaluable intrusion, into the early human lifeworld, much as computers are today.What is seldom if ever noticed, is that Plato's objections against writing are essentially the very same objections commonly urged today against computers by those who object them. Writing is simply a thing, something to be manipulated, something inhuman, artificial, a manufactured product. We recognize here the same complaint that is against computers: they are artificial contrivances, foreign to human life." (Ong. Writing Is a Technology that Restructures Thought. p,318-319)
Yes, writing and computers are and were intrusive to our well-beings. New technology came in and basically said "were here, like it or not", and we had to keep up with it ever since. Where speech was always there, it was a basic way of communication. Today we are forced to learn the new technologies. MP3 players, video game consoles, laptop computers, MAC, computer programs, portable DVD players, surround sound systems, and high definition TVs. Modern day society is forced to accept these technologies. Imagine a person standing in the middle of Route 30 yelling the news of the day......total insanity! The would be killed by a vehicle, or arrested and put into a mental institution. One day, we will look back at technology, and writing, and be in disbelief that it had ever occurred because something new will be around. We will look at it like we the we view the 1950s, corny and strange, yet perfect. Computers and writing can be manipulated because that is what they were designed for, to be expanded upon. If it were not possible to do so, then writing and technology would reach a maximum, then die off. I'm personally glad that we have advanced beyond simple structures, I want to see what is in store for the future.


Yes, we are somewhat forced. For a while, I hated DVD players because I saw no point to them. What was wrong with the old VHS tapes? This new technology seemed to exist just so people could view deleted scenes and 'making of' segments. But, the movies I wanted to buy stopped being made in VHS form and i had to succomb. Society grips you in a vice until you give in. The cheap DVD player ended up eating 5 of my DVDs and had to receive a visit from Dr Sledgehammer. Also, there was a large foot-shaped dent in my old family computer from when I had to learn to use excel

I like what you are saying here about writing being manipulated and controlled. That in my opinion is the beauty of it as a tool. It can work for you.

I also take comfort in our evolution beyond simple structures.

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