Brave New Visual World

There’s a lengthy, interesting article at The New York Times this morning. The article is characterized as being on the “literacy debate” but I think it’s actually about a subject I’ve mentioned from to time before here: visualcy. Here’s the bit that caught my eye:

“Kids are using sound and images so they have a world of ideas to put together that aren’t necessarily language oriented,” said Donna E. Alvermann, a professor of language and literacy education at the University of Georgia. “Books aren’t out of the picture, but they’re only one way of experiencing information in the world today.”

From my point-of-view the critical question is what kind of cognitive implications will the transition to this new communication modality have? The cognitive changes brought about by literacy created philosophy, science, and representative government. What effects will the cognitive changes brought about by visualcy have?

4 comments… add one
  • tao9 Link

    A culture in freefall. Lascaux redux.


  • Larry Link

    It’s also has given us the world we now live in…the bomb, global warming..extreme wealth for a few and extreme poverty for most, my, my
    I’d say the current cognitions haven’t served us perfectly…we are,
    after all, stuck on this planet…we ain’t going no where in a hurry…so what’s the problem…things are going to change pretty quickly anyway…just think what might be coming when our energy needs can’t be met…

  • .extreme wealth for a few and extreme poverty for most

    Larry, that’s a bald-faced lie. The “world we now live in” has raised more people out of poverty quicker than any previous system of any kind.

    You’re just complaining that some people are richer than others. That’s always going to be true. It was true during the most collectivist period of the Soviet Union—some Soviet citizens were a lot richer than others—and it will be true under any conceivable system.

  • Larry Link

    I guess when there are billions of people now living on about $2 a day from a $1 a day, this is lowing the poverty levels, look, poverty has many suits, to include access to education, health care, shelter, where you live, how you live, where you can go, where you can’t. Yes, I am complaining about how some people are richer than others, but not like I believe you are thinking I believe, ..I’m sorry that this troubles you, that I’m having problems with the faults in our distribution of wealth. Poverty is all around us, slow down and have a look around sometime…get off your normal path and drive around some neighborhoods that you’ve not been to before. I feel extremely rich in many respects, but pretty darn poor in others..and I’m feeling very nervous about the future.

    Dave, I don’t feel as though I’ve made a bold-faced lie..for all of those you claim to have been raised out of poverty, I would bet they will just as quickly fall back into poverty because of our system…if this system has a major break down, failure in our financial systems..what effects do you imagine that will have of the poverty.

    Doesn’t it seem just a tad odd to you that there is such great wealth in the world and yet so many others have troubles meeting basic needs…

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