- Dec 2021
Already tens of thousands of years ago, one can find evidence ofobjects – very often precious stones, shells or other items ofadornment – being moved around over enormous distances. Oftenthese were just the sort of objects that anthropologists would laterfind being used as ‘primitive currencies’ all over the world.
Is it also possible that these items may have served the purpose of mnemonic devices as a means of transporting (otherwise invisible) information from one area or culture to another?
Can we build evidence for this from the archaeological record?
Relate this to the idea of expanding the traditional "land, labor, capital" theory of economics to include "information" as a basic building block
- talking rocks
- mnemonic devices
- standing stones
- moveable information
- Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies
- land labor capital
Over these two centuries, an in-creasing impatience for the ancient art of memory based on the use of imagi-nation could be detected in the academic milieu.
Following the invention of moveable type, the information overload created in the two centuries between 1550 and 1750, placed a major burden and impatience, particularly on academic scholars, on the use of the ancient arts of memory based on the use of imagination. In addition to the education reforms by those like Peter Ramus, this may have been a major motivating factor for forgetting this prior tradition of knowledge acquisition and management.
What is one to do when there's seemingly "too much to memorize"?
All this bears little resemblance to modern literary ideals, in which the author is constructed somewhat heroically as an individual creative source.
This is broadly true in the early West, but becomes far more prevalent after the time of Konrad Gessner (1516 - 1565) whose work coincided with the explosion of information following the use of moveable type in Europe.
- Aug 2021
Moss points out the implied analogy between the commonplace-book and "moveable type, capable of both setting a page of text in an apparentiy immutable form and of rearranging all the eléments of that page into other pattems for other meanings" (p. 252); with characteristie prudence, she mentions this analogy only when it finally becomes explicit in one of her later texts, Jean Oudart's Methode des orateurs oí 1668
The ideas of moveable type and moveable information can be an important idea in the evolution of commonplace books to zettelkasten and thence into digital forms of commonplaces.