Literacy thrives

From Clive Thompson on the New Literacy in Wired.

Literacy

Quote follows

I like the image! (See more by Mads Berg) And the idea. Books and news is going digital, hence more accessible cheap, music is digital & sharable, film is becoming a folk art… art is quick & easy to share, there are new forms that will endure, like forms in poetry such as sonnets, and novels that emerged with print. Literacy is on the up!

“I think we’re in the midst of a literacy revolution the likes of which we haven’t seen since Greek civilization,” she says. For Lunsford, technology isn’t killing our ability to write. It’s reviving it—and pushing our literacy in bold new directions.

The first thing she found is that young people today write far more than any generation before them. That’s because so much socializing takes place online, and it almost always involves text. Of all the writing that the Stanford students did, a stunning 38 percent of it took place out of the classroom—life writing, as Lunsford calls it. Those Twitter updates and lists of 25 things about yourself add up.

It’s almost hard to remember how big a paradigm shift this is. Before the Internet came along, most Americans never wrote anything, ever, that wasn’t a school assignment. Unless they got a job that required producing text (like in law, advertising, or media), they’d leave school and virtually never construct a paragraph again.

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