Comments on Extratextual Context
commentson 5 May 2003 : 16:43, adario strange sez:

"In a primary oral culture, to solve effectively the problem of retaining and retriveving carefully articulated thought, you have to do your thinking in mnemonic patterns,"

I've watched certain media/tech personalities I know do this at private parties and I always thought "what a faker." Why? Well, the above notion is indeed efficient, but it occurs to me that what defines/distinguishes humanity is our rough analog edges. Our erratic errata, our scattered, almost fractal logic trains of thought. I believe that successful media figures, pundits, etc. do employ Ong's method with great effect, but I always suspect that their positions lack depth as well as the inventiveness borne of randomness.

As a bit of an extropian, I do imagine a future where we have harddrives hard wired to our brains and can recall disparate idea bubbles with ease. This notion is not unattractive to me. I realize that using my organic faculties to mimic digital behavior would definitely be an achievment (to some extent we all already do this), but I lean towards embracing the dust, clutter, and chaos swirling around in my head. I believe, perhaps foolishly, that it contributes to my creative thinking. If everyone thinks in prepacked, processed thought modules, where do the wild new ideas come from?

Then again, it "is" possible that I'm being old fashioned. (tongue only half way in cheek)

commentson 5 May 2003 : 16:46, adario strange sez:

p.s. I realize taking just one bit of Ong's writing and making a comment on it without a context of his entire book isn't really fair. But that quote was so compelling and well written I was drawn in. Definitely need to pick up Ong.

commentson 6 May 2003 : 12:03, Damanda sez:

...and to think that i've been reading my digital video camera manual to put me to sleep on planes.

commentson 7 May 2003 : 11:30, fish sez:

ong fucking rules. there's some essay he wrote about how the writer fictionalizes both the reader and himself when writing. it's hot. wordup.

commentson 7 May 2003 : 14:33, Ethan sez:

Perhaps Fish is talking about an Ong essay in the PMLA titled "The Writer’s Audience is Always a Fiction." I think the PMLA is the journal of the Modern Language Association of America. The creators of the infamously boring MLA handbook. I tried some googling, and came up empty for the actual essay content. I did come up with a link to books based on the article, with a photo of Ong. Wow.

February 2005 - comments are closed on Thanks.