Blog #3 Ong’s Orality and Literacy

Walter Ong discusses the differences between orality and literacy and how our ways of making knowledge changes what and how we think.  As new inventions emerge, it leads to a new way of thinking.  Orality limits the amount of information we can retain and our memories only last for a limited time.  The internet, for example, is an apparatus which has changed the way we think.  It gives us a great deal of visualizations and is really not only about what we know but what we can find out.  I would actually say it does some of the thinking for us and puts more thoughts in our heads yet makes us feel that we are in control because we push the buttons.  Therefore, we tend to rely on the internet more because we know we can recall it anytime and we do not have to remember it for ourselves.

Al Gore said, “Human memory has always been affected by each new advance in communications technology. Psychological studies have shown that when people are asked to remember a list of facts, those told in advance that the facts will later be retrievable on the Internet are not able to remember the list as well as a control group not informed that the facts could be found online”, Al Gore on How the Internet Is Changing the Way We Think.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 25 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 Feb. 2015.


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1 Response to Blog #3 Ong’s Orality and Literacy

  1. I wonder how it is that our memories don’t work as well under orality? I asked you about this in another post. Maybe it’s what you mean by memory? Can you explain more how the Gore quote connects to the reading?

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