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Holding On to RealityThe Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium$
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Albert Borgmann

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780226066257

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226066226.001.0001

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From Landmarks to Letters

From Landmarks to Letters

Chapter:
(p.38) Chapter Four From Landmarks to Letters
Source:
Holding On to Reality
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226066226.003.0005

With the advent of the twentieth century, it is understood and recognized that life without letters has its own coherence and dignity, and over a period of time this is called oral rather than illiterate. In this context, information is the capacity to retain information and to provide coherence to the texture of its works and days; an oral culture had to depend on memory. Even in the most ancient cultures, signs had been devised to lessen the burden on memory and loosen the ties to context. Counting proved to be the bridge between the monumental signs of cairns and altars and the instrumental signs of letters. Taking into account the spoken language, it is seen that alphabetic writing constitutes a radical abstraction from speaking.

Keywords:   letters, coherence, dignity, oral, information

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