Bolter Read

Bolter article

Zee Murphy

Intro to Writing Arts

Prof. William Wolf

02/04/14

As I read In the late age of Print and Writing as a technology by Bolter, I have to be completely honesty, I’ve never thought there would be a time when there would be a threat to books. Bolter says, “ word processing, data bases, email, world wide web and computer graphics are displacing printed communication for various purposes.” I agree that it is changing but there is still time before it totally displaces it totally. I say that because every time I visit Barnes and Nobles it’s full of people who still have a love for print. Digital media has become a fast growing business. I have always loved reading since I started at the age of three. Going to the library was and still is one of my favorite things to do. Nothing beats holding a book in your hands as you turn the pages to read it. I especially love childrens books. The print, the illustrations and the smell all continue to remind me of when books were a way to escape where I was and whatever I was going through.

Bolter writes about people like me. Ones who believe computers will never replace printed books. He gives a fair comparison: books are portable, cheaper and easier to read. Whereas the computer is not that comfortable, eyestrain and can not be read in bed. It also needs to use electricity to re-charge the battery when necessary. We all know that technology is changing rapidly. What was the must have tech product today is outdated in three months.  But I must admit, there is nothing like climbing into a large comfortable chair and curling up with a good   book and a mug of hot chocolate.

Bolter gives a great description of how writing has evolved from ink and paper, to the use of the word processor in the 1980’s to the use of computer technology highly used and preferred today. Through use of the world wide web, email, fancy computer graphics it seem that printed books and magazines for that matter is becoming thinner and thinner. Although books in print have not been totally phased out I’m sure it will be in another 20 years. I’ve noticed over the past three years how thin some of my favorite magazines have become. Essence, Black Enterprise and even the Awake magazines have all been cut by at least 50% of the size they were in the 1980’s & 1990’s.  I am currently working on a book and I can’t help but wonder if I will just have to sale it as a digital download.

Technology is the future of Education

Are we changing our technology to art or our art to technology? In Writing space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print, J.D. Bolter introduces the concept of emerging technology in writing. Bolter explores both the path of the technological tools used in the writing and more importantly, the technology beyond the modern conventions of writing.Bolter quoted McLuhan “the invention of typography…provided the first uniformly repeatable commodity,”  which placed greater appreciation of the physical product of the book. In streamlining technology we then create a clearer message to our reader. In the technology of writing the transfer from an oral technology to create a written or linguistic culture. The conventions of writing have developed dependant upon the writers experiences of the written word. This rings true when you consider for example the connection, between writers and the texts they read. Ask 2 writers in the same genre to list their favorite writers and they will have taken inspiration from the same writers, some of that is location, some of that is the timing. I know I feel like Rowan’s Writing arts department is Walt Whitman obsessed- which is both because of the degree of saturation of his work in the literary world but more importantly, the location, it is part of our cultural identity to connect with Whitman. What concerns me most about the technology of writing is not that there will be a change in the technologies employed in writing but rather the technical change in the artistry of writing. I have seen with different teachers the exposure to their particular aesthetic has shaped and molded my aesthetic. What concerns me is that as the technologies change my writing may change and lose artistry. In oral traditions for example, the sound of words play a more important part in the presentation of material as opposed to in scientific writing there is a convention of precision being more important.If our writing is changing to employ new technology are we also changing our individuality? If for example we are employing the new technology of writing in shortened form- “Lol” how long before we actually think ‘Lol” and stop actually laughing? If we change the words we use to use modern social/technology conventions are we changing the emotion behind them. Bolter says “ We can identify an interaction between technical qualities and social constructions– an interaction so intimate that is hard to see where technology ends and social begins.” We must choose carefully the technologies and the conventions we chose, as an artist, we must learn them all and then decide how to shape them into art.

 

Is Technology Re-educating our Art?

Are we changing our technology to art or our art to technology? In Writing space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print, J.D. Bolter introduces the concept of emerging technology in writing. Bolter explores both the path of the technological tools used in the writing and more importantly, the technology beyond the modern conventions of writing. Technology will educate the machine, and the machine will then influence the art.

Bolter quoted McLuhan “the invention of typography…provided the first uniformly repeatable commodity,”  which placed greater appreciation of the physical product of the book. In streamlining technology, we then create a clearer message to our reader. In the technology of writing the transfer from an oral technology to create a written or linguistic culture. The conventions of writing have developed dependant upon the writers experiences of the written word. This rings true when you consider for example the connection, between writers and the texts they read. Ask 2 writers in the same genre to list their favorite writers and they will have taken inspiration from the same writers, some of that is location, some of that is the timing. I know I feel like Rowan’s Writing arts department is Walt Whitman obsessed- which is both because of the degree of saturation of his work in the literary world but more importantly, the location, it is part of our cultural identity to connect with Whitman.

What concerns me most about the technology of writing is not that there will be a change in the technologies employed in writing but rather the technical change in the artistry of writing. I have seen with different teachers the exposure to their particular aesthetic has shaped and molded my aesthetic. What concerns me is that as the technologies change my writing may change and lose artistry. In oral traditions for example, the sound of words play a more important part in the presentation of material as opposed to in scientific writing there is a convention of precision being more important.

If our writing is changing to employ new technology are we also changing our individuality? If for example we are employing the new technology of writing in shortened form- “Lol” how long before we actually think ‘Lol” and stop actually laughing? If we change the words we use to use modern social/technology conventions are we changing the emotion behind them. Bolter says “ We can identify an interaction between technical qualities and social constructions– an interaction so intimate that is hard to see where technology ends and social begins.” We must choose carefully the technologies and the conventions we chose, as an artist, we must learn them all and then decide how to shape them into art.

A Response To Bolter’s Take On Technology and Print Media

In Bolter’s article, “Introduction: Writing in the Late Age of Print,” he mentions Frollo in Notre-Dame de Paris viewing the printing press as an end to the church rather than a way to spread the Bible around to many more people and make a way for Christianity to be more accessible to everyone. Frollo said, “This will destroy that.” Many people view technology the same way today. That was the connection he made.

Today many people “think of the computer as their primary medium” and print as a secondary one.  He goes on to say that “although print remains indispensable, it no longer seems indispensable” and “the possibilities of print seem to have been played out.” The fact of the matter is print is at a standstill, while the internet has only begun to grow.  Print is valuable and many writers like to be published in print, but its uses are limited. The internet, while sometimes less personal and desirable, has seemingly unlimited uses.  Even more interestingly, it’s only creating more uses through programming new sites and through new social networking ideas.

I know personally I prefer a printed book if I choose to read something. There is something about reading a book online that is less enjoyable to me. Also, staring at a screen can be bothersome to the eyes. Printed books seem like more of a relaxation and learning experience to me, while online books or any type of online research seems to be bombarding me with massive amounts of information. It’s very fast paced and always changing. That’s why its uses are so great, but it’s also why print is still valuable. The internet is changing the way we get information and the way we write. People want information and they want it fast. The writing has to keep up with that. As for my own preferences, sometimes a quick answer or a document that is on point is a great thing. Other times the sheer amount of information can be stressful online. I’ll admit I’m not quite up on things as far as technology goes.

In his other article, “Writing as Technology,” Bolter discusses the ancient methods of writing before mechanization and how all the advances we have made have allowed for progress. The internet is like this as well. He mentions that the computer has the quality of “rapid and easy change” and that “electronic writing may therefore participate in the restructuring of our whole economy of writing.” He also talks about the remediation, or competition of technologies. Print and online text are in competition. Each has their own benefits, but in today’s fast paced world the internet has far more uses. It can be a bit scary to think of one destroying the other, but both will compete for our preference and accessibility in our future.

You can see Bolter’s “Writing In The Late Age Of Print” here and “Writing as Technology” here

Evolution of Technology

J. D. Bolter wrote both Introduction: Writing in the late ages and Writing as Technology.  Within those articles he discussed the evolution of technology and how print is becoming obsolete, while technology is growing constantly.  Bolter (2001) stated, “Electronic technology provides a range of new possibilities, whereas the possibilities of print seem to have been played out.”  Within referring to my earlier years of school it was apparent that the only form of gaining knowledge was through books.  If anyone wanted to know anything they would have to pick up a book and read about it.  As the years progress it’s now obvious that technology has become a prominent role in everyday life.  For example, if one wants to research something or learn about something further, they could simple search at the nearest computer or even their phone.  They no longer need to go to a library and search for books on the topic, because there is plenty of information on the internet.  This shows that the technology has become more of a convenience and print as more of hassle.

The possibilities for what technology could become even further are endless.  Possibilities of what the school system, for example, could be seen through their textbooks.  Now textbooks are being offered on iPads, tablets, kindles, and other electronic devices.  As technology continues to grow it could turn from every student having to purchase textbooks to every student needs to download this particular book on their device.  This would make no reason for there to be print, because everything that’s in print is now being offered at an easier convenience, which is digitally.

When reading Bolter’s articles he discusses that not only has printing evolved into technology, but it’s also turned into different types of media as well.  Bolter (2001) stated, “Throughout the 20th century, print has engaged in contests of remediation with photography, film, and television.”  This not only shows the growth of what it has become thus far, but instead it shows the continual development.  It is now expanding into different forms of media, that anyone is able to access.  This allows the knowledge to be spread universally.

The words that were expressed only through print, at one point in time, are now able to be spread through multiple ways.  This does not make print obsolete, but it has the capability to.  If children grow up to only learn to use electronics to access information then they will only go through technology to find information in the future.  This provides the future to probe questions about where print will be and what will happen to it.  As a college student, I was able to grow up with using textbooks, so that is still what I’m comfortable with, but I also became acclimated with technology so for searching information I tend to use the internet first.  It’s a balancing act between what technology was and where it’s going.