A very classic communication technology.
Speech wasn't invented. I don't know how it came about, but I can confidently
write that nobody sat down at a desk and thought to him or herself "let's
get ourselves a tool that will let me get the ideas that I've got in my head into
the next guy over there's head more elegantly than using hand signals". It
couldn't have worked that way because, among other reasons, we've learned how
intimately related speech and thinking are - our speaking, our framing thoughts
into words, influences our thinking of those thoughts.
But what about reading out loud? Not to ourselves (though
that's a fascinating topic unto itself) but as a way of disseminating information.
The classic modern example (at least the one I'm familiar with) is in pre-revolutionary
(hey, even pre-independence) Cuban cigar factories where the rollers would listen
to someone reading out loud as they worked. But the same principle has obviously
been around for much longer, and was undoubtedly more popular in only semi-literate
cultures where only a few members knew how to read. Ancient Israel, for example?
This month's date tie-in relates to a classic example, though whether it's truly
accurate I really don't know. It was on this date (apparently extrapolated from
the Hebrew calendar), in the year 445 BCE that Ezra read the Book of the Law to
his fellow Hebrews upon their return from the Babylonian diaspora. This probably
isn't the first recorded instance of a reading-aloud of this sort, but certainly
a classic, and important, one.
Go to: Please organize me.