Thursday, June 11, 2009

250 Words: Reading and Writing

Reading and Writing

People are reading and writing more now than 30 years ago. Technology fostered a boon in electronic communication. Concurrently, print, especially periodicals are slowly disappearing. With electronic communication come shorter attention spans.

Think about this:

Before writing knowledge was given orally. You had to remember.

With writing came privilege. The Annals of the Kings of ... could tell history as they wanted. Those who read controlled those who didn't. Writing controlled thinking.

With the printing press came knowledge. People began reading, thinking, for themselves. Publishers made money, looking for saleable authors. Writers were good at their craft.

With computers came an explosion of writing which otherwise would not have been published. Anyone can publish. Watch for desperate attempts to control the Internet.

With so much information to glean, competing images, sounds, typefaces, devices, programs, all demand attention they cannot all have. People are not reading books, magazines or newspapers as much as blogs, tweets, bits and pieces of news, emails, text-messages and other quick read’s, most written poorly. But, who cares.

Writing is a way of thinking, of determining a course of action, of discovering what has happened, or might happen. Reading is an activity which demands concentration and comprehension. With bad writing comes bad thinking. With the confusion of thinking comes poor concentration. With bad thinking and poor concentration come unwise decisions, resulting in a breakdown in the cohesiveness of society.

Is it the position of the Library to cater to such?

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