LogiLogi: Philosophy beyond the Paper Wybo Wiersma
— the founding father of Italian Futurism —declare the end of the traditional book, which,according to him:
’has for a long time been fated to disappear like cathedrals, towers,crenellated walls...’
This clearly was mis-guided.Stillitisonlytobeexpectedthatnewmediatake their time. Their development is expo-nential, and while exponential developmentsare generally overestimated in the short term,they are also always under-estimated in thelong term.
In addition, if new media even-tually are successful, they always appear be-sides, and not instead of existing media. Andthey usually never entirely replace their alter-natives. Forexampledecadesaftertheappear-ance of the scientiﬁc journal of the Royal So-ciety in the 16th century, it still was the casethat only books were taken seriously and arti-cles were mainly used to let others know whatone was working on. Now this has changedand journals did become the place where ‘ithappens’ in academia, or at least in science.
Andthereisnoa-priorireasonwhysomethinglike this should not happen again.We should not forget that the web is stilla very young medium, which only began tobecome known to, and used by many philoso-phers around 1991, or even 1993, when theﬁrst point-and-click graphical browsers wereintroduced. For comparison; many decadesafter the introduction of writing it was —based on the archaeological knowledge wehave — still only being used for bookkeepingin temples. Even as the web is coming of agenow, it still has many developments ahead.The most advanced Web2.0 software for ex-ample — which also models social relations,such as friendship between people, trust, orknowledgeability, and allows people to easilycreate, share, and integrate their own content—isstillrelativelyprimitiveandhardtointer-
: 90-77070-12-5, p. 69.
Filosoﬁe in cyberspace: reﬂecties op deinformatie-en communicatietechnologie
. Kampen, 2002,p. 344.
Marie Boas Hall.
Henry Oldenburg: Shaping the RoyalSociety
connect compared to desktop software, the-oretical software designs, or even books thateasily ﬁt on any shelve. But these things arechanging, and quickly.
2.2 Between the Spoken and the Written:The Classical Media of Philosophy
In addition to being new, the web also is amedium that lives between the spoken and thewritten. The advantages of the ﬁrst of these,conversations can be summed up as follows:They are easy and informal (especially amongfriends). And because the number of receiverscan be limited, and the receivers are known,speech can be very focused and tailored toits audience. Additionally, the interactivityof conversations, and the fast feedback theyallow, can make having a good conversationa very ﬂuid experience.
Now for the writ-ten word: Writings can be revised, re-visited,and reﬂected upon as long as necessary bytheir authors, even until they are perfect, orat least a lot better than spontaneous speechwould have been. And because of their possi-ble length, cross-references, and the ability of readers to silently re-read passages, texts havea capacity for much more complexity. Theyalso are ﬁxed, and thus come to stand on theirown, and can easily be referenced. And lastly,they are also lasting through time, and easy toshare and copy, especially thanks to moderntechnologies.
Plato lived, spoke and wrote during thetransition from an oral, to our written culture.And he was aware of some of the differencesbetween them. But unexpectedly enough hewas quite sceptical about writing. In
“Then he [who knows the just and
, pp. 247, 261.
C. Vandendorpe, P. Aronoff, and H. Scott.
From Papyrusto Hypertext: Toward the Universal Digital Library
. Uni-versity of Illinois Press, 2009, p. 2; Mul,
, p. 82.
Ann Van Sevenant.
Met water schrijven : de ﬁlosoﬁein het computertijdperk
: 90-5240-403-8,pp. 19-20.