Monday, March 3, 2008

Democracy and Literacy

Howard Rheingold: Way-new collaboration
video

He suggests a link between literacy and democracy. I'm trying to get a grasp on it and can't seem to. That is I can't find a good reason for believing it to be true other than because he said so. Nor can I find any good opposing reasons.

I will take his word for it that literacy climbed after the printing press was invented.

And I will take it for granted that there was a lot of advancement after literacy en mass.

I think it is worth noting that the first democracy happened long before the printing press. There were also great leaps forward in earlier periods like the renaissance. But to his credit, like Rheingold says, I'm sure symbolic communication would have had some role in making the first societies. It does then make sense that a leap in symbolic communication would lead to new societal frameworks.

I will give it some more thought when I get to it.

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