Thursday, March 19, 2009

"A kind of new orality"

Dangerously Irrelevant wants to know what you think about Trent Batson's ideas about Google and a 'new orality'.

Having studied oral transmission and transference a bit in terms of ancient poetry, I'd have to say that there is a nuance that Batson might be missing, but which actually may lend even more credence to his idea. Namely, he notes the rapid spread of ideas through hybrid orality. While it is certainly true that oral transmission does and has manifested in the past as a spread of ideas, those ideas are generally spread regionally and over the course of long periods of time. More importantly, in the bardic traditions -- from Iran to Greece to Ireland -- those ideas are generally spread via a professional or semi-professional singer much in the way that trade-skills were handed down from generation to generation.

What Google does is allow immediate hybrid transmission. And it puts the responsibility of authority in the hands of the reader or audience moreso than in the will of the authors.

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