Comments for Stewart Wills http://www.stewartwills.com Scholarly Communicator, Writer, Editor, Web Professional Mon, 30 Sep 2013 19:18:10 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.8 Comment on The Real “STEM Crisis”: A Sloppy Label by CIU News Blog - The Real “STEM Crisis”: A Sloppy Label | Stewart Wills http://www.stewartwills.com/2013/09/29/the-real-stem-crisis-a-sloppy-label/#comment-147 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 19:18:10 +0000 http://www.stewartwills.com/?p=177#comment-147 […] Leave a reply Rear Adm. Nevin Carr, Chief of Naval Research, delivers opening remarks at the Office of Naval Research-hosted Naval Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Forum. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) […]

]]>
Comment on Do We Really Want Books to Be “Social”? by Stewart http://www.stewartwills.com/2013/09/01/do-we-really-want-books-to-be-social/#comment-20 Sat, 07 Sep 2013 14:42:35 +0000 http://www.stewartwills.com/?p=90#comment-20 Hi, Chris — great to hear from you! It has been quite a while; hope things are well. And a terrific comment — though I’m not sure I’d characterize 600 years as a blip . . .

And, of course, the very the success of the book format itself changed not just how we engage with literature, but literature itself; we are no longer writing in the hexameters or alliterative verse of oral traditions — designed, among other things, to facilitate memorization — and it’s hard to imagine going back. That evolution certainly was partly driven by the technology of mass book production, as you suggest, and it is indeed anybody’s guess as to where the current technical ferment will ultimately take the literature of the future. I just hope that it doesn’t take away my own ability to curl up, undistracted, with a good book and a well-mixed Manhattan. We shall see . . .

]]>
Comment on Do We Really Want Books to Be “Social”? by Chris Hughes http://www.stewartwills.com/2013/09/01/do-we-really-want-books-to-be-social/#comment-12 Tue, 03 Sep 2013 06:53:50 +0000 http://www.stewartwills.com/?p=90#comment-12 Hello Stewart

The enjoyment of literature only became a private and solitary pursuit quite recently. From the Greek rhapsodes to Norse sagas, stories were designed to be told to many people at once. Later, the first written works were far too valuable to be read by only one person at a time. St Ambrose is credited with the invention of silent reading: “When [Ambrose] read, his eyes scanned the page and his heart sought out the meaning, but his voice was silent and his tongue was still. Anyone could approach him freely and guests were not commonly announced, so that often, when we came to visit him, we found him reading like this in silence, for he never read aloud.” (Augustine in Book 6, chapter 3 of his Confessions)

The rise of cheap printed books allowed people to own books of their own, small enough to carry around in read in contemplative silence: the Sony Walkman period in the history of literature. But that was in the fifteenth century. Now, we seem to have a pressing need to share everything, and our governments have a pressing need to listen in. Private reading may only have been a blip.

]]>