A few years ago I was in Brasilia and gave a seminar (about community cohesion as I recall) at the Education Ministry. Afterwards I was invited to meet a senior official who proudly told me about a new adult literacy campaign they were about to launch, bringing the alphabet and all its benefits to indian people across Amazonia. I was an honoured guest in the country of Freire, but I didn’t feel I should desist from saying hesitantly, I hope you know what you’re doing. I made direct reference to Walter Ong’s remarkable Orality and literacy which explains how, once you bring literacy to an oral culture, that’s it, you can’t restore orality, not ever. Ong certainly convinced me, not that I needed convincing, that the most powerful technology humans have ever invented remains the alphabet, but we may not be very good at understanding quite how powerful it is. (Via Neighbourhoods.)
Il y a plus d’un an, je me souviens c’était mon anniversaire… j’ai enregistré un “podcast” où j’abordais la question de l’impact de la culture de l’écrit, relativement récente du point de vue de l’évolution, par rapport aux structures neurophysiologiques et au rapport au monde façonnés par la culture orale.
L’existence révélée récemment de ces tribus amazoniennes ramenait cette question à l’avant scène.
C’était il y a quelques mois… mais je n’ai retrouvé que ce matin ce vieux billet non publié.