the fate of traditional print media

Traditional print media are facing major challenges from digital communications networks that allow everybody to share written words at low cost.  The U.S. newspaper industry reports tremendous opportunities and exhibits fiery indignation at the newspaper industry’s ongoing meltdown.  As recent analysis has highlighted, general-interest mass-market periodicals seem to have lost any special value as a … Continue reading the fate of traditional print media

long-run trend in writing style

Communicative style varies with circumstances and purposes.  Over millions of years, primate vocal communication co-evolved with sociality among family and friends.  Writing, in contrast, developed about 5500 years ago.  Prior to the last three centuries, use of writing has been almost wholly limited to a small, elite group, and writing has been used primarily for … Continue reading long-run trend in writing style

writing emerged from accounting

Writing is much more socially complex than making art and making music.  Art and music draw on natural forms and make sense at a low level of neurological processing.  A single person could invent a form of visual art or music that might be engaging to many others without a specific investment in teaching them. … Continue reading writing emerged from accounting

writing direction influences spatial representation

Persons’ spatial representations of an action described verbally are biased in the spatial orientation of the action. Recent research indicates that a left-to-right bias develops from experience of a culture’s left-to-right writing system, and a right-to-left bias likewise from a right-to-left writing system. The Morgan Bible of Louis IX and the Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasp, … Continue reading writing direction influences spatial representation

text messaging is unnatural

Recent research indicates that human visual processing capabilities have shaped text. Letters in 96 non-logographic writing systems, Chinese characters, and natural scenes all have similar distributions of topological configurations. The human visual system evolved to process natural scenes. Writing systems from around the world and throughout the history of written language appear to be well-matched … Continue reading text messaging is unnatural