This semester my blog posts haven’t been about just one specific topic, but rather have come about from questions I’ve had about course materials. I have found some of our most interesting discussions involved the specific ways communication is changing in our lives. My first post, The implications of how writing has changed verbal communication or not, came about after Dr. Bolin’s lecture on some of the first forms of writing in ancient Mesopotamia. The symbiotic relationship between the written word and the spoken word has had a profound impact on how we communicate making our language more precise, descriptive and versatile over time. I neglected in my original post to note that writing came into being at the same time as organized civilization as we know it today, likely out of necessity to keep track of people, their property and to disseminate information more efficiently.
Along the same theme I also chose to write about how scholarly works are distributed in publication and how technology could change the status quo of prestige in publication, as Ben Schmidt put it on his blog sapping attention, to one of openness and accessibility through publication online. The argument, to which I still can’t pick a side, essentially boils down to quantity of information. Through the old system only scholarly work deemed worthy by a slew of professionals, including professors, researchers, editors and publishing firms, would be published and available to the general public. This system likely left lots of research and subsequent scholarly work on the drawing table, never to be part of public forum. The “new” system is and will likely reverse the previous trend. Now huge gobs of information are available, leaving readers and the general public to decide based on the frequency of online visits, what scholarly work is most relevant. Both sides have its pros and cons and for that reason I don’t think one side will prevail, some form of the old system will find new life online, once those within the greater humanities discipline accept that some changes are good and necessary to keep up with the times.
The aforementioned posts reflect the kind of questions and discussions this class has led me to and were worth revisiting. My specific concerns lie in how information/communication mediums are constantly changing (especially for this generation), and what it means for the future. I think my posts generally reflect this sentiment. I have found that regular blogging (although I might not have posted as consistently as others) has increased my questioning of topics of classroom discussion, but has also brought new ideas to the table, some of which never would have been mentioned or elaborated upon in the traditional classroom setting.