Scientists have discovered an ancient whale whose bite ripped huge chunks of flesh out of other whales about 12 million years ago — and they’ve named it after the author of “Moby Dick.”
The prehistoric sperm whale grew to between 13 and 18 meters (up to 60 feet) long, not unusual by today’s standards. But unlike modern sperm whales, Leviathan melvillei, named for Herman Melville, sported vicious, tusk-like teeth some 36 centimeters (14 inches) long.
This is where most of the futur ists got it wrong — the impact of radio, tele vision, and the tele phone weren’t going to be solely or even pri mar ily on more and more speech, but, for tech ni cal or cul tural or who-knows-exactly-what reasons, on writ ing! We didn’t give up writ ing — we put it in our pock ets, took it out side, blended it with sound, pic tures, and video, and sent it over radio waves so we could “talk” to our friends in real-time. And we used those same radio waves to down load books and news pa pers and every thing else to our screens so we would have some thing to talk about.
This is the thing about lit er acy today, that needs above all not to be mis un derstood. Both the peo ple who say that reading/writing have declined and that reading/writing are stronger than ever are right, and wrong. It’s not a return to the word, unchanged. It’s a lit er acy trans formed by the exis tence of the electronic media that it ini tially has noth ing in com mon with. It’s also trans formed by all the tex tual forms — mail, the news pa per, the book, the bul letin board, etc. It’s not purely one thing or another.
**Adds Snarkmarket to RSS reader**
In short, if you think the super im posed montage of words and link of in-text hyper links pose some cognition/decision prob lems, which might not be appro pri ate to all kinds of read ing, then it might make sense to try using a dif fer ent strat egy (like foot not ing), instead.
I JUST had to deal with this in my Cloudmakers essay, which will be published on paper and the web. I couldn’t figure out how to include links that would read in both formats. So I ended up including both links and footnotes in my draft.
Reblogging because Brett’s one of the funniest guys I’ve ever known. Spend 10 minutes with him and you’ll realize he’s about 14 times smarter than you are, and has put easily 75 of those IQ points into the humor column.
There. Are. No. Words. They should have sent a poet.