Could Written Language Be Rendered Obsolete?
January 30th, 2010

Patrick Tucker @Theyear2030 the senior editor of THE FUTURIST magazine and director of communications for the World Future Society @WorldFutureSoc published a great article on ‘Texting, the Brief, Golden Age of Internet Communication’

You can read this groundshaking article of Tucker at the Brittanica Blog.

THE FUTURIST – January 29th, 2010 – (Learning & Literacy Forum)

If written language is merely a technology for transferring information, then it can and should be replaced by a newer technology that performs the same function more fully and effectively. But it’s up to us, as the consumers and producers of technology, to insist that the would-be replacement demonstrate authentic superiority. It’s not enough for new devices, systems, and gizmos to simply be more expedient than what they are replacing—as the Gatling gun was over the rifle—or more marketable—as unfiltered cigarettes were over pipe tobacco. We owe it to posterity to demand proof that people’s communications will be more intelligent, persuasive, and constructive when they occur over digital media, and proof that digital media, and proof that illiteracy, even in an age of great technological capability, will improve people’s lives.

As originally proposed by futurist William Crossman, the written word will likely be rendered a functionally obsolete technology by 2050. This scenario exists alongside another future in which young people reject many of the devices, networks, and digital services that today’s adults market to them so relentlessly. Recent material from the NEA shows this is possible; its 2009 report reversed a 20-year downward trend and for the first time showed increasing rates of reading with young adults age 18 to 24 leading the way

Being more technologically literate, teens may develop the capacities to resist the constant push of faster, cheaper, easier information and select among the new and the old on the basis of real value. If we are lucky, today’s young people will do what countless generations before them have done: defy authority


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