Re: Text is bad: Was Ideas in Motion

Subject: Re: Text is bad: Was Ideas in Motion
From: "Craig Branham" <branhacc -at- slu -dot- edu>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2000 10:08:43 -0600

From: "Mark Baker" <mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com>:

> <heavy handed irony>The superiority of pictures over text is clearly
> demonstrated by the virtual extinction of phonetic alphabets in favor of
> hyroglyphics. We writers are the last surviving remnant of literate
> civilization, and the sooner we learn to quite this archaic use of words and
> learn to communicate by grunting and drawing pictures on the walls of our
> caves, the better.</heavy handed irony>
> We live in a civilization that can be characterized by one feature above all
> others: it is a literate society. All the vast progress we have made in
> science, technonolgy, government, trade, and scholarship are founded first
> and foremost on the broad based literacy of the population of the developed
> world and on sophisticated and widespread communication of ideas by the
> written word.

As Walter Ong is fond of saying: "If indeed 'a picture is worth a thousand
words,' then why do we need this saying?"

It has been my experience that learning any procedure or practice requires
the learning of abstract concepts for understanding. If you were learning a
martial art, for example, pictures can show you how to stand and how to
move your arms and legs, but only words can help you understand the
principles of movement, the purposes of movements, or why the _quality_ of
the movements is important.

Pictures are good at showing the "what" and "how," but they are very weak
at showing the "why" and "what for".

Craig Branham

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