Karen Kwiatkowski on Learning: Something to Think About

Observe an interesting quotation from a fascinating article.  The article is libertarian in nature, but the quotation is not:

I read somewhere recently that in the age of Shakespeare, most people in England were unable to read, illiterate. To broadly share information and ideas, the preferred medium was audible, spoken, and theatrical, and in fact, nothing else worked. For writers to complain that “people don’t read anymore” is not only untrue, it is parochial thinking – something we have to get over. It is about learning – not necessarily reading.

(This is from a column she wrote earlier this summer based on a speech she gave called “Tolstoy’s Majority.”)

How do we learn?  Is reading as essential as we sometimes think it is?  Are there other forms of media as legitimate and intellectually compelling as print?  Or does this type of thinking lead to increased intellectual laziness?

(I’m ignoring here the spiritual role of words, as scripture and revelations have long been recorded in written language, and probably will ever continue to be so.  But even here, there is room for other media.  Consider the Church’s use of DVDs, for instance, or video clips on its website.)

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