Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ancient Tweets Were Made in Stone and Clay

Time to play some catchup after Thanksgiving!

Let's make science interesting by comparing it to Twitter!

It was interesting anyway!

When ancient scribes invented the world's first systems of writing by cutting symbols into stone and clay, they unleashed an anxiety the Facebook generation can relate to: worry about how the new technology might upend their culture.

As the technology caught on in Egypt and Mesopotamia, ancient writers recorded the anxiety of some in Pharaonic Egypt that the written word would impair memory and turn humans into ignorant fools.

Maybe Amun had something, though:

...Amun predicted trouble for readers and writers.

He said it would cause forgetfulness in writers because they would not use their memory. Moreover, he predicted, readers would give only the appearance of knowing things while remaining "ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise but only appear wise."


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