The Technological Literacy Critical Narrative
The literary world has undergone a series of transformations since time immemorial. This is as a result of the changes that have taken place in the information and communication sector. This is evident in the narrative by Baron and Dennis dubbed “From pencils to pixels”. In this book, the authors try to relate the recent developments in the information and communication sector to the literary world. The current offices are stuffed with computers with word processing programs at the expense of the typewriters, pencil sharpeners and pens (Baron and Dennis 25).
There is no need to exaggerate the importance of the development in the information and communication to the literacy level in a global perspective. This is not the first article to appreciate the effectiveness of these developments to the literacy sector. There is complete dependence on the new technology in the aspect of writing (Street 56). Earlier on the practice of writing involved the use of pen and paper which gained access into the conferencing and meeting rooms. Most people developed the habit of writing on the memo cards in order to help in maintaining of the records in these issues therein.
All in all this never gained some good mileage in the communication sector as it took much time for one to write a simple sentence with lots of erasing and revising the work before proceeding to the next (Baron and Dennis 32). This technology purely wasted a lot of tome as the individuals involved had to concentrate in at least two events at a time. They had to concentrate on the speaker’s speech and at the same time concentrating on the writing process which involved a lot attention in order to produce a better report of the minutes at the meeting. This has been lessened by the introduction of computers which has eradicate these hurdles and thus brought in the flexibility of a digitalized text.
Just like the developments in life, the new technologies in the literary field also go around some sort of stages in their development circus (Gloria 78). Therefore it is of paramount importance for the individuals concerned to adapt the changes into their life and of course adapt their lives into the changes in order to attain a mutual responsibility kind of dwelling between the two. The first technology in communication was indeed the act of writing itself. It was also resisted by the conservatisms in the traditional arena as being very unnatural and untrustworthy. Indeed practically speaking, Plato strongly opposed the idea of writing in the traditional setting in the contemporary society.
On the other hand pessimists who complained about the whole idea of the development of new technologies into the literary world include the following: Bill Henderson, David Henry Thoreau. These personalities bring forth a balanced prediction into the transformations that the entire development in the technology would bring to the wider human community. The invention of writing triggered a new cognitive approach to the livelihood of most individuals in the world (Harris 98).
We no longer possess the printers with resolutions less than 300 pdi. Most individuals go for the PC world and the Mac User to help keep up with the pace in the current changes in the ICT sector. Additionally we yearn for cheaper RAMs, latest connectivity and extra fast chips in the market. Simply put, the current generation is in a hurry to look at the next development in the information and communication sector. The literary sector is also not left behind in this issue as it heavily relies on the information and communication systems in order to function efficiently.
Computers have indeed invaded the current society with lots of goodies offered in the local and international markets of the literary field. A phrase like information superhighway and the World Wide Web took centre stage in the year 1993 to help advocate for the importance of the development of the computer systems in the globe. It has been seen as the gateway to literacy in a global perspective (Harris 90).
In America, it is believed that by hooking every school with some computers will help eradicate illiteracy in the long run. In 1996, President Clinton brought the issue of linking the eight and twelve year old pupils to the National Information Infrastructure. Futurists began predicting the adventure of computers very early enough and claimed that these gadgets would one day replace the books on the shelves. Newspapers rushed to lure the online readers as this gave them more room to divulge information to a wide population set up than before.
Both the pessimists and the conservatisms tried to compare the good and bad old days. Some critics claim that the type writer is but a mere machine that duplicates text and therefore has created very limited change to the lives of most individuals in this contemporary society. Most people believe that the invention of writing was mainly to help in the transcribing of speech into some understandable language (Gloria 72). This has not been the case with writing since time immemorial inscriptions have been recording sales, tax accounts and business transactions at the expense of the incantations, oral utterances and conversations. This is evident in the earliest Sumerian inscriptions.
It is very difficult to understand when the early transformations in writing surely dealt with the writing itself or it purely dealt on the issues bordering art. In short there existed no difference between art and writing. For instance the early clay works that existed early before the technology of writing came into force had the same effect as the ones portrayed by these pieces of writing. This therefore leaves one wondering at the exact distinction between writing and that of art in the society. The discovery of over 10, 000 years old stone in Syria poses the main missing link between art and writing in the recent history of literature. Most of the tokens used in the early days are distantly related to the art of writing (Harris 87).
Similar to the current gurus who invented the computers who by any chance referred to as computer geeks, the individuals who invented writing were also referred to as a group of odds in the Sumerian society. They were known as Cuneiform geeks. Indeed they paced up and down the streets of Samaria advocating for the new ways of making marks on the stones. This was the case of these important people to the public in the early community set ups. Moreover, writing starts as an obscure record keeping shorthand as opposed to the usual speech transcription (Street 34).
Writing never spread in the early systems of governance since it was dogged with lots of expensive and cumbersome processes. It required lots of equipment as it needed things related to pens, inks and others that had to be hand made. The writing surfaces like clay tablets wax tablets and the papyrus were prepared in a very laborious manner. Writing therefore remained very exclusive to the minority in the society as the less privileged in the early society could not afford the whole idea of writing. In other words it was not available to the common man.
When compared to the original speech development, writing may not replace many speech functions. It lacks the tonal variations brought about in the speeches we use in the daily lives of individuals. It also lacks the physical clues that accompany face to face communication and the avenues to permit the bridge between time and space. For example conversations should become letters while sagas translate to novels and customs changing into legal codes (Baron and Dennis 57). The other issue with writing is the conflict in the pronunciation of the words. For instance, the word falcon has the letter l pronounced loudly while the word Faulkner puts the letter l in a silent mode. This practice may confuse some learners and readers in specific dialects.
The same way writing was never designed to record speech, the pencil technology came as a result of the urgent need in the measurement field to put marks on some piece of material meant for some construction purposes. The ancient pencil made of lead was meant to scribe lines. It only made faint lines on these surfaces. This went on until the 1560s when the graphite pencil began its use as a writing material. The term pencil refers to little tail and this encompasses both the pencil and the brush used by artists in their rough work. It therefore goes without a say that the technology of pencil was not meant for the writing purpose it currently serves in the contemporary society (Gloria 80).
Upon the invention of the telephone most people thought the whole idea was very great, but at the other side of the coin was the issue of record keeping. Telephone conversations could not be kept for future reference as an evidence piece due to the nature of the conversation therein. The technology was also very expensive for most individuals to adhere to the act pertaining to its purchase in the immediate market. It therefore remained an issue for the elite in the society. In a nut shell, as much as the early developments in communication aided in the alleviation of illiteracy in the world it also came up with some sort of disadvantages to the community (Street 69).