Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Writing: A Miraculous Technology All Its Own

As an English teacher and a devotee of the written word, I was interested and disquieted by this essay by Robert Moor in n+1, and this passage from it in particular:

The problem with Our Choice [a recently published multimedia "book app"] is that among the elephantine hi-def images and infographics, the text gets buried. Reading it feels like flipping through a coffee table book: grazing the lush images, you avoid eye contact with the daunting gray bricks of text. If this is the future of the book, then the book is indeed doomed. Writing is a miraculous technology all its own—a code that, when input through the optic nerve, induces structured, coherent hallucinations. An equivalent experience does not exist. Words have shape and musicality. They almost have a flavor. But they are too easily drowned out by stronger stimuli.

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