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Ong Informal Reflection...

Literacy is no doubt an important part of life today. I mean I can’t imagine people still being illiterate, but there are some kids that make it all the way to high school and cannot read. In my opinion literacy is an asset that leads to people being more privileged than those who are not literate. Also, when I think of literacy I think not only of reading, but to remain literate by reading on a regular basis. Now I am not saying being literate would be a skill that would fade away if you didn’t put it to use, but rather that in order to truly be an accepted member in society one must read often and will in turn remain literate.

I thought a particularly interesting quote in Ong’s essay was: “Sound exists only when it is going out of existence." That concept was very hard for me to fathom. The idea that writing is only an extension of oral culture is certainly food for thought. Certainly we only know words from hearing them and speaking them on a regular basis. Then we learn to read and write the words we hear. The whole process is one long extension of the art of orally expressing ones self.

It is very hard to believe that in this day and age there are still cultures emerged deep within certain regions of the world that know only oral culture. The fact that some groups of people believe that the only language that can be written is the language which they see in books (and not including their spoken language) is mind blowing. The argument that Plato presents against writing and the one people today present against computers is very similar. The sentiment behind each of these arguments is that computers and writing will breed laziness. Both of these arguments also have to do with the development of memory loss as well.

Jeremy Barrick's agenda item made a lot of sense to me. I commented that I liked what he was saying about writing being manipulated and controlled (expanded as well). 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.

Kayla Saywer's agenda item forced me to consider a different perspective concerning Ong's essay. She compared writing to computers and I can definitely see that correlation. Writing can be a tool, but people must have thought it was a burden as well at some points through out history. The invention of typing was likely to aid those who wrote on a frequent basis.

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