Wednesday, September 16, 2009

(R)evolution in the printed word

Instead of writing one piece at 11:59 PM the night it is due, I am evolving... I'll write a bit each night...What a concept! This piece by Elizabeth L. Eisenstein is an easier read and I can relate it to my current circumstance with my job. I am a change agent. My job is to collaborate with others to develop new electronic processes to expedite the review and management of research data to a conclusion. Along the way, we communicate the new processes, make updates, and train the new procedures. (pg xiv)

Research is contingent on data collection, storage, and retrieval of information. By using systems to collect, filter, sort, and retrieve different combination of data, the researcher(s) makes a hypothesis and reaches a conclusion. In addition, by developing communication networks, information is disseminated, and shared to learner make further conclusions...what a concept! Like those stated in the first part of the book.

Isn't that the purpose of the university? To teach, explore, expand knowledge, come to conclusions, tear them apart, then rethink them... isn't this the progress of growth? Yet, universities, and corporations as well, hold fast to old methodologies. I am not saying that tried and true is not good but aren't institutions of learning supposed to be progressive? If so, why are they so resistant to change? Because we all are. This is definitely where I stand this quagmire. But I am an optimist.

But it is untimely to now consider the shift that occurred with the advent of the printing press, where thoughts were first shared orally, then written on paper, printed, and then published to the masses, as discussed in this text. Maybe not in such an organized manner and maybe not succently as this but it was done.

I begin to think about our need to preserve...we write because we want to recall thoughts, save ideas, record possibilities in the form of composed words of text into a stream of thoughts that others build on like art and media. These recordings are living archives, long preserved after we are gone - if they are noteworthy. Maybe this is why it is so important to create and record the word, hand written, twitter, email, printed, audio, video, film or otherwise. Because it will outlive us if what is said is worth of keeping. To be continued...

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