Thank you for the response. Never thought about the power of one book had on one continent and then the world. The Bible was used as a tool of liberation, enlightenment, slavery, power by the state, and learning. Good point.
Though I disagree that our critical responses to power have to be verbocentric. Computers have pointed out the obvious that symbol systems used for meaning making go beyond the word.
Lets think about the images I used:
The first image is a very popular image in the genre of “reactionary gifs.” It is is scene from a movie involving a popular American actor and comedian. It is used as a sense of shock or surprise, and like most reactionary gifs in a very hyperbolic way.
I see the genres and cultures that exists because of the computer to be one point for compute over the printing press.
Reactionary gifs are just one part of many cultures that can now network online. The genre is so popular that the Speaker of the House (third in line for President in US) sent out a reactionary gif rebuttal to President Obama’s plan for free college education:
We do our identity work in new ways because of the web. That set from The Speaker contain a famous pop star. The obvious connotation is Republican outreach to tech and youth.
Given your points about the Bible, Martin Luther filing the world’s most famous customer complaint, and the fall of monarchy I can see you an Arab Spring and call the score 1-1.
The second set of images played off the tortoise and hare to compare the scope and speed at which the Web spread compared to the printing press.
The next image compares the amount of digital information stored in the library of congress versus the amount of digital information created. If we consider them both, the book and the computer, tools for external storage the computer
A clear 2-1 in favor of computer.
The next few images were links to either mutlimodal poems I have written or remixes of academic work. These were in relation to the ideas of how the printing press changed the unit of analysis. I think the computer requires the same rethinking. A return of non-verbocentric symbol systems.
I must admit this is where my n00b status starts to show. I originally joined XMCA bc my ed psych program had great thinkers in the field of learning sciences, and situated cognition, but no strong Vygotsky and CHAT. So I do not have a complete understanding of linguistics to argue the unique ways of making meaning the computer has enabled.
Instead I just do my identity and thinking production in images and sounds.
That would leave it at 3-2.
In your reply you argue that the printing press had a gradual effect on production and the computer a catastrophic effect. I thought the question was which had a BIGGER effect and not a BETTER effect.
In terms of production this clearly has to be the computer. There is not one component of human activity that has not been shaped by the computer. Transportation, food production, migration patterns, shift in economic value. All of these were altered by the computer.
Where does that the score? I wonder if it shouldn’t be the computer or the printing press at all but writing itself. It was the genesis tool of all the external storage and symbol systems.
It has accelerated at a spectacular pace in human race. More efficient tools for writing replace less efficient ones. Paper the cunieform, printing press vs scrolls, word processor vs typewrite. n each iteration the window between releases shrunk. Then the computer. I
Now then things changed. New tools for meaning making emerge every day that no longer supplant older tools but supplement and co-exist. Facebook, Twittter, youtube, blogs…more people are writing more words than any single point in history and this growth will not stop.
Behind it all is a set of universal directions that render bits into symbols.
Code is the ultimate lingua franca.