Inventing the Humanities

Saturday, May 06, 2006

denis baron pencils to pixels

GEORGIA DENDRINOS
EN703
DENIS BROWN “FROM PENCILS TO PIXELS: THE STAGES OF LITERACY TECHNOLOGIES”
Denis Brown discusses the usages of computers and how we have moved from pencils to pixels; the title of this chapter! He states how he is addicted to computer usage and how he is unable to draft a memo without a computer.
THE STAGES OF LITERACY TECHONOLOGY
HUMANISTS AND TECHNOLOGY
*THE PENCIL ITSELF IS A TECHNOLOGY JUST LIKE A COMPUTER.
*IT ITSELF WENT THROUGH STAGES OF IMPROVEMENT.
“a way of engineering materialist order to accomplish an end.”
THE TECHNOLOGY OF WRITING
*DENIS TALKS ABOUT HOW MANY WRITERS DID NOT TRUST TECHNOLOGY.
*DENNS BARON- I will be the first to praise computers, to acknowledge the importance of the computer in the last fifteen years of my own career as a writer, and to predict that in the future the computer will be put to communication uses we cannot now even begin to imagine, something quite beyond the word processing....
*…concerns of the computer communication today involves their authentication and their potential for fraud. The Unabomber is mentioned and how he excludes humanists and as being harmless.
*…Henry David Thoreau disparaged the information superhighway of his day a telegraph connection from Maine to Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate. Bill Henderson who is a director of the Lead Pencil Club, a group opposed to computers and convinced that the old ways are better, further boasts that Thoreau wrote his anti-technology remarks with a pencil that he made himself.
*Writing itself was once an innovation strongly resisted by traditionalists because it was unnatural and untrustworthy. Plato was one leading thinker who spoke out strongly against writing fearing that it would weaken our memories.
*William Harris argues convincingly that no more than ten percent of the classical Greek and Roman populations could have been literate. One reason for this must be that writing technology remained both cumbersome and expensive.
*THE TOOLS TO WRITE WERE EXPENSIVE AND LIMITED UNTIL THE PRINTING PRESS.
WHAT WRITING DOES DIFFERENTLY
*WRITING CANNOT REPLACE SPEECH. SPEECH HAS TONE AND STRESS AS WELL AS FACE TO FACE CONNECTION.
*DOCUMENTS ARE NONINTERACTIVE.
*WRITING WAS BEING USED TO PERPETRATE FRAUD.
*DOCUMENTS WERE CREATED TO SELL LAND AND CREATE FRAUD. *TO FIX THIS PROBLEM SEAL OF AUTHENTICY AS WELL AS WATERMARKS AND SERIAL NUMBERS ON PAPERS WERE PLACED.
THE PENCIL AS TECHNOLOGY
*PENCILS REPLACED PENS AND INK POTS
*PENCIL-NICKNAME “LITTLE TAIL”
*A PENCIL’S ERASER CALLED A RUBBER BECAUSE IT RUBS OUT PENCIL MARKS.
*BREAD CRUMBS USED TO BE USED BEFORE ERASERS

Questions:
1) Does using to computer deprive you from using your mind to its full ability?
2) Can we trust literature and its authenticity such as the Greek play? How true is the translation as Denis Baron mentions?
3) Can we consider information on a computer or on the Internet literature or is it just words?

2 Comments:

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Cheryl said...

As I was reading the article, I really was surprised and upset about the "replacing books with online texts" comment. For me, my collection of novels on my bookshelf is a part of me. I hate reading off of the computer. It is annoying and hurts my eyes after several hours. I can't really picture myself with a computer (even a tiny one) on the beach reading. I enjoy holding the novel, turning the pages, the smell of the book, and the effort in keeping them like new. It is one of the reasons I became an English teacher. I really hope this does not happen completely in my life time.

 
At 5:58 PM, Blogger Nieves Moy said...

I totally agree with Cheryl with respect to books being replaced by computers! What a sad, sad day that will be!
Several statements made at the beginning of the article were that computers are "touted as a gateway to literacy", the Speaker of the House's absurd statement that "inner-city school children should try laptops to improve their performance", and lastly, "hooking up every school classroom to the Web will eliminate illiteracy." Politicians are truly morons!
I firmly believe that literacy comes first, computer technology comes later!
Nevertheless, I found Dennis Baron’s article very interesting. I shook my head in agreement with many of his points and simply had to read the entire paragraph about how a pencil is made to my family! The notes in my margin say, "So now you know!!!”

 

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