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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun! (Read 245 times)
Frank1
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #10 - Nov 9th, 2017 at 2:22pm
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Limey wrote on Nov 7th, 2017 at 1:49pm:
To pick up Mr. Deer’s final point, if you brainstormed for a week and produced a list of 1000 bad things about literacy, I would tear up the list and laugh at you.

Literacy is unquestionably the most important and best cultural thing people have.

I would choose literacy over fire.


Nice unfounded assertions there, Mr. Limey.   Wink
  


To say homo sapiens, is to say Homo religiosus; there is no man without God. ~Frithjof Schuon
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #11 - Nov 9th, 2017 at 3:08pm
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Frank1 wrote on Nov 9th, 2017 at 2:22pm:
Nice unfounded assertions there, Mr. Limey.   Wink



As opposed to your unfounded assertions...
  

Non sequitur:

The Wet Dreams of Mr Cousteau wrote on Mar 2nd, 2017 at 4:30am:
... that has less power than a hair dryer used by a eunuch.



Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Feb 5th, 2017 at 5:40pm:
...that makes me a moron.
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Running Deer
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #12 - Nov 9th, 2017 at 7:37pm
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Frank1 wrote on Nov 9th, 2017 at 2:20pm:
I don't think his concern is to argue against the inevitability of literacy.


Correct.

Quote:
I think here of how Martin Lings described the advent of permanent settlements in his biography of Muhammed.  He basically said that, while perhaps inevitable, the development of permanent settlements represented a fall or decline from the more noble nomadic way of life that had characterized the ancient Arabs.


There's nothing more noble about nomadic life than agricultural life.  That's just silly.

Quote:
He is also debunking the idea that mass literacy is some type of boon to society.


It is a boon, but one that should not be imposed through imperial means.

Quote:
I think a very strong argument could be made that while writing itself may have been inevitable, mass literacy was not.


Once the printing press was invented, mass literacy was inevitable.
  

"If cousins, I would much prefer to marry one my Neanderthal relatives than a screeching chimpanzee which might bite my face off as has happened recently. Of course, chimps are not even a human species so procreation between humans and chimps is out of the question." - joe_christian, on sex
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Frank1
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #13 - Nov 9th, 2017 at 8:05pm
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Running Deer wrote on Nov 9th, 2017 at 7:37pm:
There's nothing more noble about nomadic life than agricultural life.  That's just silly.


Not really.  Nomads have been demonstrated to be the most conservative of human collectivities. 

Tolkien talked of man's "quick satiety with the good" and that is precisely what the nomad avoids through his primitive lifestyle.  The nomad's lifestyle constantly presents him with struggle, and he thus does not lose his edge. 


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It is a boon, but one that should not be imposed through imperial means.


Well, if you say so.

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Once the printing press was invented, mass literacy was inevitable.


Then don't invent the printing press!   Cheesy
  


To say homo sapiens, is to say Homo religiosus; there is no man without God. ~Frithjof Schuon
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Limey
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #14 - Nov 9th, 2017 at 9:38pm
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Running Deer wrote on Nov 9th, 2017 at 7:37pm:
Correct.


There's nothing more noble about nomadic life than agricultural life.  That's just silly.


It is a boon, but one that should not be imposed through imperial means.


Once the printing press was invented, mass literacy was inevitable.



It is a boon, and should not be imposed, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.


Frank, you're pining for a worse world
  

Under Capitalism, Man exploits Man.

Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Limey
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #15 - Nov 9th, 2017 at 9:44pm
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Frank1 wrote on Nov 9th, 2017 at 8:05pm:
Not really.  Nomads have been demonstrated to be the most conservative of human collectivities. 



I'll take it at face value.

Why do you think that you can say this as if "conservative" denotes high value?

Tolkien was undoubtedly a good writer and a fine human, and his moderately silly literary y legacy will be around awhile.

I don't think that being a great philologist necessarily qualifies someone's opinions on mass literacy as more valid than mine.


Do you?
  

Under Capitalism, Man exploits Man.

Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #16 - Nov 9th, 2017 at 9:45pm
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Frank1 wrote on Nov 9th, 2017 at 2:22pm:
Nice unfounded assertions there, Mr. Limey.   Wink



Which?
  

Under Capitalism, Man exploits Man.

Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Frank1
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #17 - Nov 9th, 2017 at 11:00pm
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Limey wrote on Nov 9th, 2017 at 9:44pm:
I'll take it at face value.

Why do you think that you can say this as if "conservative" denotes high value?


Well for now, lets stick with the debate on different types of societies and just assume conservatism is desirable.

I believe conservatism is desirable, and the evidence is that nomads are the most conservative of human collectivities.

Quote:
Tolkien was undoubtedly a good writer and a fine human, and his moderately silly literary y legacy will be around awhile.


You are displaying what Coomaraswamy described as the modern literary mindset.  That is, literature is concerned with facts, personalities and opinions: especially personalities; modern literature is filled with morbid psychological explorations of characters.  You once recommended to me a book filled with such psychological explorations of characters, it did not appeal to me, to say the least.

Anyways, the pre-literate mode of story is always mythic.  Thus, Tolkien represents an ancient mode of story-telling, the 'normal mode' in fact.  By the standards of this ancient mode it is modern literature that is, in fact, quite absurd, or 'silly.'

Quote:
I don't think that being a great philologist necessarily qualifies someone's opinions on mass literacy as more valid than mine.

Do you?


I was just using that Tolkien quote about man being easily satisfied with the good.  The rest was mine.  Tolkien never spoke directly on the topic of literate vs. non-literate peoples, at least so far as I have read; though I think he would probably agree with Coomaraswamy.

But lets say Tolkien did speak directly on the topic, then yes, I think his opinion would be worth a great deal.  He was a master of language and certainly was well aware of changes in its usage that occurred with changes in the form of society. Such an understanding is clearly present in LOTR. Hobbits speak one way, Rohirrim another, Ents another, Elves another, etc....and the speech of each group is generally adapted to their mode of living and their character as a people.

  


To say homo sapiens, is to say Homo religiosus; there is no man without God. ~Frithjof Schuon
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Limey
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #18 - Nov 10th, 2017 at 3:48pm
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To pick up on your last point first (time reasons, sorry) there’s a criticism of Tolkien I would make. 

I just finished reading the Hobbit to my boy. Never read it aloud before. I get quite in to the dialogue and try to voice each character consistently when reading to the kids.

Something that leapt at me was that the trolls and goblins have very identifiable urban working class English modes of speech, whilst the good characters have either educated ‘gentleman’ registers or ‘rural worker’ voices. I have looked at Lotr too to see if this is a theme.

Other 1930s English writers did the same I recall from earlier reading. Enid Blyton, absolutely massive in British children’s literature for 90 years, especially.

Whether this is thoughtless snobbery or a deliberate thing, subtly emphasising class differences, I don’t know.


I would be interested in your views on it. I guess you’d not have noticed it, because it’s peculiarly English, and apart from vocabulary I wouldn’t know if an American reader of American writers would be able to make such definite assertions about American characters.
  

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Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Re: The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy: have fun!
Reply #19 - Nov 10th, 2017 at 7:29pm
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Frank1 wrote on Nov 9th, 2017 at 8:05pm:
Not really.  Nomads have been demonstrated to be the most conservative of human collectivities.


Well except for the Mongols killing 40 million people with Iron Age weapons.  Minor detail.
  

"If cousins, I would much prefer to marry one my Neanderthal relatives than a screeching chimpanzee which might bite my face off as has happened recently. Of course, chimps are not even a human species so procreation between humans and chimps is out of the question." - joe_christian, on sex
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