WORDS ARE MY BUSINESS SO I REGARD THIS INFOGRAM WITH SOME HORROR (though it is fascinating)
My god—we’re back to drawings on cave walls!
I WORRY GREATLY ABOUT OUR ABILITY TO REASON RATIONALLY. WE THINK WE KNOW HOW TO THINK, BUT DO WE? I AM FAR FROM CONVINCED.
I will admit that I am strongly biased in favor of the following.
- Verbal communication—particularly when the discussion is fact-based, reasoned, two-way, and leads to some kind of conclusion with the parties concerned being wiser,
- Written communication because it allows for focus, detail, context, complexity, nuance, reflection, full use of the imagination, consideration over time, depth, perspective, and can constitute, if required, a permanent record. While giving full credit to the power and efficacy of shorter pieces, I believe writing is at its very best in the form of a book.
But—being a book-writer—I would say that, wouldn’t I?
Very true—but, not only am I admitting my biases up front, but, let me be clear, I was a reader before I became a writer so my sentiments are genuine. I regard books as absolutely extraordinary, and like the creativity which drives the writer, a force of truly remarkable power—though, sadly, much under-utilized.
I have a strong suspicion that the answers to most of the issues that plague the human condition are already out there in written form.
I admire and enjoy the visual also, but find it more emotional (unless balanced by text)—so less suitable for explaining or developing the logic of the argument (whatever that my be). As a consequence I see the current trend to skim rather than read the written word, but rely much more on graphics, as disturbing.
What worries me about this trend towards the visual, against a backdrop of the internet and social media, is that we may be diminishing our ability to think rationally and in the necessary depth that the complexities of this world require.
I regard images as marvelous and fascinating—but, all too frequently, inadequate.
The issues involved are so serious that I would love to be proven wrong.