Blog 4 – Reading

When Ong mentioned writing and its importance, it makes me wonder why is it so important?

Ong pointed out that oral cultures had a problem with memorization in that they did not have the mental ability to memorize things.  There was limitations but with the onset of writing, they were able to read what was forgotten.  It is true that without literacy, there would be no record of history.   It is writing that separates the past from the present and without it, the present would be all we have to go by.   Writing has given us our history in a way that we could not have percieved before.  It gives the validity to history and without it, we would not be sure if what we hear is accurate or true.

Ong also stated that “without writing, human consciousness cannot achieve its fuller potentials, cannot produce other beautiful and powerful creations ” and that “writing heightens consciousness” (81). I would have to agree that it is also the sole single invention that transformes our minds. It makes us more conscious of ourselves. We can actually think while we write and contract different thoughts at the same time simply because we can see the thoughts.  That’s why I find writing so important for us today and this article an important piece of writing.

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1 Response to Blog 4 – Reading

  1. Interesting, Pam. Remember that Plato complains about writing because it is writing that causes us to lose the ability to remember? In many ways, writing makes it harder for us to remember. Thinking about the points that Ong makes in this piece and in the earlier one, when he discusses formula, how would you respond? In this piece, if you look at the section where he discusses the bible, where he talks about how in Genesis we “find a sequence of begats,” this links up with the earlier reading concerning the “Homeric Question.” Thoughts? Go ahead and reply to my comment here.

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