Social Science - Other

Will Written Text Survive as a Communication Medium – Yes

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"Will Written Text Survive as a Communication Medium - Yes"
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Written text has survived all other technological advances over the years, from the typewriter, word processing, even computers which were supposed to create the paperless office that many theorists suggested would supplant written communication altogether, such as the now infamous "Office of the Future" that was hinted at back in the 40s. You would be surprised how many people still use fax machines and basic email in this Web 2.0 era of videocasting and vlogs. In fact, the evolution of communication still parallels that of computer technology itself; mainly in a two dimensional "1 and 0" bit technology in which added dimensionality is brought into play through elaborate mathematical schemes through programming languages such as C/C++ (the basis of OS such as Linux), indeed, there has been little true deviation from what communication has always been.

The future would suggest ignoring the basic constructs of written literature (whether typed, handwritten, manuscript or otherwise) and create a sophisticated means of communicating thoughts through other means. Yet written language is very essential to our very being; anything we think can be recorded through written text, there are few ideas which cannot be communicated through written means, as the written language has sophisticated ways of conveying even the most abstract of ideas. Until we can get to a place where we can convey ideas that cannot be broken down into written text we cannot truly have found a way of eliminating written text as a communication medium. In fact, there is no real reason or incentive for human beings to attempt to eliminate written text when we have yet to find technology that can truly take us beyond what can be conveyed through it. So far computers, for all of their technical prowess, haven't been very successful at taking us beyond what we currently consider to be reality whatsoever. The only real virtualization that has occurred is in the ability of the computer to allow to communicate concurrently with more individuals than we would be able to do in real life, and to do more tasks at one time. Yet human nature is to use many previously unrelated technologies and software to do a simple mindless task, such as streaming content through sites like YouTube; the technologies exist independent of each other and aren't that impressive, yet when combined and used in the right way, create a different experience as far as the computer that is concerned, that is an age old experience of that of watching television which goes back 90 years.

How different is texting when you consider that it occurs in real time through a portable device, the cell phone, when IRC used to serve this purpose, how different is the camera phone when people have been recording images and sharing them with individuals for years. So far technology has duplicated analog technologies that used to be essential to our being but has offered us little that is completely different; and the irony of computing is that we may never really be able to fully use it to it's fullest extent, communication is no different. We need to be creative with technology to the extent that we are willing to use it to do something that is completely different from what we had been doing to date, rather than replicate what we've done to lower the costs and inconveniences of doing what was done in the past. Once we have found something completely outside of the way we have gotten through in society for all of these years we may finally begin to start to find a way to eliminate the medium of written text.

More about this author: Christopher Kendalls

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