Re: Jaynes/Writing/Consciousness.

Jesse S. Cook III (jcook@AWOD.COM)
Fri, 4 Oct 1996 15:24:57 -0400

On 4 October 1996, Warren Sproul wrote:

>*Contra* one of Jesse s Cook III's main assertions, reading/writing *is* in
>large part precisely about communication with the dead; perfectly proper
>too, as Comte and others maintain that society contains more of them than

The word "communication" in this context is strange at best. As to there
being "more of them than us", that is just plain wrong.

A key feature of literature - of all types - is, as Niklas Luhmann
>points out, that 'writing and printing make it possible to withdraw from
>interaction systems and nevertheless to communicate with far-reaching
>societal consequences' (1995: 427).

(Ron Kephart: please note the "withdraw from interaction".)

>Moreover, the prime distinction between
>people[s] with writing and those without it is the privileging of such a
>non-interactive society.

(Ron Kephart: please note the "non-interactive society".)

>The importance attached to writing in modern
>societies rests on [1] the ability of institutions to deal with groups and
>individuals by reducing them from unmanageable physical entities to
>predictable and measurable textual entities, and [2] the capacity of
>individuals and groups to generate a variety of written versions of a
>'self' (or rather, 'selves').

Oh, I like that--particularly the "selves".

Jesse S. Cook III E-Mail:
Post Office Box 40984 or
Charleston, SC 29485 USA

" is not for our faults that we are disliked and even hated,
but for our qualities."--Bernard Berenson (1865-1959)