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the Gutenberg “Parenthesis” - MIT lecture

Oral Tradition and Digital Technologies
(Lecture - Video presentation)

Should we view the last 500 years or so of Western culture as a strange interlude, defined by printed page and other artifacts that once dominated the landscape but are now fading in relevance? In this forum, Thomas Pettitt makes the deliberately provocative case for a Gutenberg "Parenthesis" -- a period marked by the reign of the printing press and isolated from the largely oral culture that came before, and the digitally shaped culture emerging today. - The entire history of media, Pettitt suggests, has been merely "interrupted by the age of print."