The article “Writing Restructures Consciousness” was hard to follow, but it did prove good points. I plan to write about a few topics discussed in class today along with several key points from this article.
The first topic we discussed was the difference between writing and talking. I feel more comfortable carrying on a conversation with someone rather than writing (like I am now) to express myself. I feel as if sometimes writing can hinder me from getting my point across. When I am writing, I feel like I have thoroughly explained myself; however, when I get my paper back, the teacher has written off to the side “What do you mean?” I guess when writing, sometimes we think to ourselves that we have argued our point to the best ability, but some of the argument could still be in our head- just not on the paper. It feels more natural to me to talk to someone because I can defend my thoughts, but with writing, it is hard to defend yourself when your writing cannot literally speak. Socrates held it against writing that written word cannot defend itself. Writing just does not come natural to me like I wish it did because being an English major would be much easier if it did. Talking to others does take process, but it is more natural for me to open my mouth to talk rather than pick up a pencil to write.
Another point we discussed in class today was whether we agree or disagree with Socrates’ belief that writing destroys memory. I agree with this because when I take notes in class, I am only archiving my thoughts to reference later to prepare for a test or remember something discussed in class. It also helps my brain to not work as hard because if I forget something discussed in one of my classes, chances are I have it written down. I honestly could not remember everything discussed in all my classes by just listening to the information. I need to write it down. I can understand how writing destroys our memory by forcing us to not have to remember things, but writing does however help us store information. We would probably know nothing of Socrates or the other great philosophers if someone had not written anything down. If the only way of knowing of these people was from stories passed down from generation to generation, some of the information might get a little twisted.
Overall, this discussion of the article in class was very thought provoking. It made me question whether writing truly is a technology and whether it destroys our memory.