The New Invention of Writing

I've been studying the invention of writing:

http://www.erasmatazz.com/library/History%20of%20Thinking/Ancient%20Civilization/Writing.html
http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/ED/TRC/MESO/writing.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_writing

Ran into this interesting tidbit:

"During the first half of the 19th century, native cultures without writing came into contact with European colonists that did have writing. Native individuals of genius saw that writing gave the white man great power and therefore invented writing systems for their own people. Rather than copying the white man's writing systems, they used imagery from their own traditions to accomplish this. This remarkable development took place in at least two areas on two continents, North America and west Africa. "


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Comments

Ben said…
Something John Willinsky pointed out was a brick upside the head for me: "footnotes" was a breakthrough. It's so not-obvious; "index" and "table of contents" ... those three are actually examples of technology. They arise of techne ... they have not always existed, nor did they just drop from a tree. Exhilirating, noe?

:-)

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