Christian Rudder’s new book, Dataclysm: Who We Are, is a must read for many reasons (note: I derive no benefit from Amazon or anyone else for clicking on the above link). The data and analysis he shares is fascinating, and of special relevance to me at the moment is this paragraph after demonstrating that the idea of the Internet destroying writing is a myth:
“As we have seen, phones and services like Twitter demand their own adaptations. The eternal here is that writing, like life itself, abides. It changes form, it replicates in odd ways, it finds unexpected niches … it even, like anything alive, occasionally stinks. But realize this: we are living through writing;s Cambrian explosion, not its mass extinction. Language is more varied than ever before, even if some of it is directly copied from the clipboard–variety is the preservation of an art, not a threat to it.” [Note: italics is the author’s.]
What makes this interesting is a comment from a parent focus group at a school in Chicago last week, “I want my daughter to be able to build a computer from scratch, because that’s a marketable skill, but I don’t want her to know how to use one because once she starts her ability to think and write will be destroyed.” This horse has so left the barn long ago. Get over it, people.