Becoming illiterate

Author: Joke De Winter

Handwritten extract from my grandfather's thesis.

As humans we have come a long way since evolving from primates and deciding to have a go at walking upright. Along the way we learned to speak in many different tongues. We tamed fire. We moved out of the cave into purpose build homes. We became artists, scientist and everything between.

Above all we acquired written language. A way to preserve our thoughts and ideas for many generations going forward. We have learned so much from the writings of previous generations. Glimpses into lives no longer living.

It’s not that we are slowing down in producing content. Far from it. But more and more of it is being produced in digital forms like video and sound. The art of the written word is dying. Especially hand writing. I wrote this by hand and my writing is looking worse with ever day, because of a lack in practice.

Digital content requires supporting software and electricity. You can lose it by switching a button. Paper can burn. Stone, wood etc. can meet an ugly end too. But they seems safer somehow.

I worry we are on the road to becoming illiterate.