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Oral2.0?... Does the web2.0 brings the return to the orality richness?


"the hatchet, the saw and the log" story...

  • Ask a literate which word is an intruder in this list: hatchet, saw, log... The clever answer is log, since hatchet and saw are tools, but log is not... Many companies for their recruiting tests use lots of similar questions. It seems licite to use such questions to pickup clever people, does it...?
  • Ask the same question to someone living in societies where the technologies of literacy (especially writing and print) are unfamiliar to most of the population... Their answer is "I don't know"... Then tell them why they should have dropped the log... They answer you: "but you are stupid, hatchet or saw without log is useless..."

Morale 1: Forget oral culture is synonym of stupidity or... poverty. Think about famous succesful guys such as Richard Branson, Virgin CEO, or John Chambers, Cisco Ceo, that had mild dislexia.

Morale 2: Clever people are not always the ones they seem to be...

Morale 3: The true story is about what orality is, and we should learn a lot more about, when the web2.0 is all around us.

  • Orality is thought and verbal expression in societies where the technologies of literacy (especially writing and print) are unfamiliar to most of the population. The study of orality is closely allied to the study of oral tradition. ...
  • McLuhan, in his work The Gutenberg Galaxy shows how each stage in the development of this technology throughout the history of communication – from the invention of speech (primary orality), to pictograms, to the phonetic alphabet, to typography, to the electronic communications of today – restructures human consciousness, profoundly changing not only the frontiers of human possibility, but even the frontiers it is possible for humans to imagine. ...
  • After the ancient Greeks invented writing they adopted a scribal culture that lasted for generations. Few people, other than the scribes, considered it necessary to learn to read or write. ...
  • Writing, Socrates argues, is inhuman. It attempts to turn living thoughts dwelling in the human mind into mere objects in the physical world. By causing people to rely on what is written rather than what they are able to think, it weakens the powers of the mind and of memory. True knowledge can only emerge from a relationship between active human minds. And unlike a person, a text can’t respond to a question; it will just keep saying the same thing over and over again ...
  • Furthermore, as McLuhan emphasizes, modernization attentuates some oral capabilities. For example, in medieval Europe silent reading was virtually unknown. ...
  • Internet collaborations like Wikipedia rely primarily on writing, but re-introduce relationships and responsiveness into the text. ...
  • Oral culture is... additive rather than subordinative... aggregative rather than analytic... redundant or ‘copious’... passed from one generation to the next as it always had been: through apprenticeship, observation and practice. By contrast, only literary cultures have launched phenomenological analyses, abstract classifications, ordered lists and tables, nothing analogous exists in oral societies. ... empathetic and participatory
... more at >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orality

Jfayel Point of view

  • Is it not what web2.0 and especially wikis are all about?
Are wikis going to combine
- the community richness oral culture had before the invention of printing
- with the power of instant and everywhere internet diffusion
  • What do you think about?


  • 120px-Walter-ong.jpg Walter J. Ong, key scholar in this field, distinguishes between two forms of orality: ‘primary orality’ and ‘residual orality’
  • Marcel Jousse est l'initiateur d'une anthropologie du geste, où il étudie le rapport du geste avec les mécanismes de la connaissance, de la mémoire et de l'expression. Sa recherche est élaborée à partir de l'étude des milieux d'oralité (qu'il qualifie de milieux de style oral), recherche qu'il a conduite, aussi bien à partir de son expérience personnelle d'une enfance vécue parmi les paysans sarthois, qu'à travers l'étude historique et géographique de divers milieux de style oral. ...
  • 120px-Socrates_Louvre.jpg Socrates: Writing is "inhuman"

  • Dyslexia is a learning disorder that manifests itself as a difficulty with reading and spelling ...
120px-John_Chambers_cropped.jpg 120px-Richard_Branson.jpg
- John Chambers - Richard Branson

Mashup images credits