5 January 2006

Fallacies new and old

(fragment of a post from last month that got lost in the shuffle...)

I was all ready to write about the dispeptic logic of how New Concepts are driving our current culture when I read a Language Log post (with a nice addendum) taking apart an extremely lazy Joel Splosky article in which he brings up the In-My-Day argument.

My argument is in contrast to the LL article. I too-often read from a new technology pundit that, for instance, hypertext is changing how we consider the world or that search engines are making us lazy readers. In effect, new technology is so different from what we are used to that it is changing us into something different. Variations on the hypertext concept is what I hear mostly, so it became the model of my internal argument. One premise in particular (to risk erecting a straw man) has bothered me: HTML links change text from a static domain to a more spatial one. All knowledge gets immediately linked to other knowledge and makes it more visceral. Well, yeah, but what about footnotes? Or indicies? Didn't they, and the TOCs as they were created in the ~1400s [?] create these links and create them as a model for Tim Berners-Lee and probably as a model of how we internalize text? Or perhaps they were a result of how we as humans internalize ideas.

[ posted by sstrader on 5 January 2006 at 11:40:50 PM in Language & Literature ]