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A Potion for Memory and Wisdom

In which we panic about new writing technologies. February 2019 - Adams Library Lobby

Welcome

This exhibit explores technophobia and nostalgia through tools for writing. While in no way comprehensive, we begin with the fear of the impact the written word would have on memory, and continue to explore the push and pull of invention on the relationship between the experience of writing and thinking, up through today’s debates on texting, the internet and technology’s impact on creativity.

This digital content is meant to supplement and provide additional information and does not stand-alone as a digital exhibit.

…speaking of earlier technologies, sometimes fears that new technologies will drive out old ones are justified, sometimes not: We still buy pencils but we don’t buy typewriters. Clay is for sculpture or for play, not for writing, and while papyrus continues to be made in Egypt, it’s mostly sold to tourists as a souvenir.
- Baron, Dennis E.. A Better Pencil : Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution, Oxford University Press USA - OSO, 2009.

Spreading the Word: Fry’s Planet Word

Login to watch Spreading the Word or use the link below to select another episode on language from the series Fry's Planet Word.