Wednesday, July 11, 2007

An inventory of effects

Re-reading and re-discovering an old edition from 1967 of the Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan, I spent quite a long time on this quote, trying to position the context in which this has been said, in which it is re-contextualized through the book, and how it applies today and what I can learn from it.

The discovery of the alphabet will create forgetfulness in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves...You give your disciples not truth but only the semblance of truth; they will be heroes of many things, and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing.--Socrates, "Phaedrus"

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