I’ve mentioned Walter Ong more than a few times in previous posts. He’s best known for a little book titled Orality and Literacy in which he argues that transitions from oral to literate to secondary oral cultures (marked respectively by the development of alphabetic technology and electronic communication) have effected transformations in human consciousness. It is something of a testament to Ong’s enduring influence, he passed away in 2003, that I’ve been assigned his work in three separate graduate courses.
In the event that it may be of interest to someone out there, here is a visualization I put together using Prezi of Ong’s argument (supplemented by some additional information). Once you’ve clicked over to the site, click the forward arrow to move through the presentation.