Cultures and characteristics of communication (especially with respect to the presence or absence of writing)

February 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm Leave a comment

The mention of orality comes from following a link to one of my posts.  His contention is that basically it’s a lack of the written word (which is a gross over-simplification).  I think that language developed from the need for organization, is quite certainly what distinguishes a society (an organized group, I think) from a chaotic collection, started with the necessity to coordinate for hunts and then was used as a repository for other protocols.  This allowed the construction of formalized definitions which pretty much had to be constructed on the principle of exclusion (definitions depend more on what is regarded as irrelevant than including all available information).  Language also allowed the storage of such prot0cols in steadily more complex fashions, which allowed more and more complex prot0cols.  Religion and its propensity for rhymed and rhythm-modulated lines aren’t accidental; define reality and you may have a better chance to survive.  Without society, humans could hardly fill their current environmental niche.  (You know, wholesale destruction and slaughter and that sort of thing.)  This also allows–with the over-pr0duction that’s allowed by the steadily more efficient protocols, because storage allows evolution–constructing a society with defined niches (like the cell/amoeba bit, where single cells can form a multicellular organism at need).

And as far as the most basic and first reason for the “discovery” and use of writing I suspect it’s simple.  It has to be learned.  If you have a form of communication available only to the few you have several advantages.  From all we know of history, one dividing line for the elect was the ability to read.  Unless you were a noble (or a politician), of course.  Or are.  Then it was and is the ability to peddle influence.  Nor do honesty, tactics and strategy make any sort of stable mix.  Just as without exception all records indicate–as does logic–that the introduction of aggression requires its usage by all parties in inter-societal relationships.

As a final parting or Parthian note…there aren’t two choices.  You don’t just fight or flee.  There are three poles of choices.  You fight.  You flee.  Or you submit.  Submission is called society.  And if you try to fight society you lose, while if you flee eventually it catches up.  The best part, of course, being that it really doesn’t give a damn.  That’s just the way it works.

That’s what I meant, Carlo.  Just couldn’t find a way to comment.  And that will give you a better idea of what I was talking about.

–Glenn

Entry filed under: modal philosophy, philosophy, Uncategorized, writing and lack of thought, writing and thought.

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