Hey everyone, my name is Spencer Renna Goldfarb. I’ve lived in NY my whole life and for the last two and a half years I’ve been working for an environmental advocacy group called Citizens Campaign for the Environment out on Long Island. My main passions in life are reading good literature, and writing fiction. Honestly, I am not 100% certain about where I’m heading in the future. All I know is that I want to keep writing, and one day be published, and hopefully make a career out of that.
Technology is deeply rooted in all of our lives, ranging from broad to unique ways. It’s without question that most people today have a cell phone. The capabilities of that phone may vary, but basic call and text and camera features are default at this point. As far as my relationship with technology is concerned, it’s fractured at best. I do own a smart phone and am frequently online, but I try and stay away from most social media sites for personal reasons. Though relationships with advance technologies can vary, it’s almost impossible to live a life without the use of basic technology. That could be from using any type of transportation ( Bus, car, subway, bike) to utilizing simple machines that run on electricity. Even using that tap in the kitchen or bathroom sink, simple plumbing is a form of technology. And unless you are a hardcore survivalist, it is very tough to divorce yourself from these.
Before I began to study writing, I was very into film making and animation. I put a lot of stock in the power of the picture. All of the shorts I ever made had extremely little, if not any at all, dialogue. I was always pushing myself to tell a story without using any words. I used to (poorly) draw, and do graffiti quite frequently. My thoughts were draw out in my head. Now that my attention has shifted more towards the use of words and language, that’s the lens I tend to see things through. I don’t doodle so much anymore, as I scribble story ideas or thoughts into my notebook. I try to be deliberate with my choice of words, and yes they definitely change in response to the person I’m communicating with and the message I’m trying to get across. The way to truly define yourself is what goes on in your head. And one of the few ways to get those ideas and thoughts out of your head, is through words. So I don’t think that changing how you communicate from instance to instance is lying or being fake, but rather representing the complex spectrum that is a human personality. You can’t be defined or summed up in one word. You are a human. That word itself carries a lot of weight and has many meanings. That’s why it is so important to paint the best, or most accurate, picture you can of yourself through your words.
“Socrates advances several objections to writing. The first occurs in the Thamus myth: writing will cause forgetfulness in the learner’s soul, he will cease to use his memory. Other objections are that the written word is not more intelligible or certain than knowledge and recollection…” pg xiv
Literally: Here the author is summarizing Socrates’s disdain for writing, claiming that it’s counterproductive and will actually harm your intelligence and that it isn’t as effective of a tool as other people claim.
Intellectually: This passage stuck out to me specifically because I feel like people have been making this exact same argument about certain technologies for years. People spoke about the negative effects of comic books, and television. Claiming that it was harmful to expose yourself to. And even today people go on about the negative and harmful nature of e-readers as compared to physical books.
Emotionally: When I first read this passage I actually laughed. I thought it was funny to see how the same argument, that I feel like I’ve heard endless times, is being applied to writing. The simplest and most basic form of express thought and communicating is preached as a harmful and ineffective process.
“Man is by nature omnivorous,” Daryll Forde reminds us, “and we shall
seek in vain for pure gleaners, pure hunters, or pure fishers.” Early
man never committed himself to a single source of food or to a single
mode of life; he spread over the whole planet and tested life under radically
different circumstances, taking the bad with the good, the harsh
with the temperate, glacial cold and tropical heat. His adaptability, his
non-specialization, his readiness to come up with more than one answer
to the same problem of animal existence-all this was his salvation.” pg 381
Literally: Here is a quote stating the overwhelming ability of man to adapt. How no matter the harsh and intense circumstances, man has fought to find food in anyway and in the end survive.
Intellectually: This quote, paired with the one I picked from the intro to Phaedrus, makes an interesting statement about the forces working against man and what wins out in the end. When complex languages were first being used, the next logical step was for them to be written down in some way. That written history plays a large part in the growth of a society. Socrates claimed that writing was harmful, but here we are, in the year 2015, writing. We adapted and survived, regardless of what Socrates thought.
Emotionally: This quote could be seen as a naive, simplified approach to the survival of man, but at the end of the day, it’s very true. After reading it a few times, I began to feel a sense of awe at the magnitude of the statement.