Reading & culture LO24526

From: Rich Persaud (
Date: 05/02/00

Replying to LO24514 --


Howard Berg's "Super Reading Secrets" is easy to find and covers many
aspects of reading. Howard is a former high school teacher who is/was the
world's fastest reader (according to Guiness). Though he appears in TV
infomercials, his book is useful.

One of the best ways to argue for something is to take the opposing
position. You may find new insight by studying people with reading
disabilities, such as dyslexia. How does their "disability" influence
their cultural experience? How do other people react to their reading

Can someone learn without reading? People always have. Literacy as we
know it was made possible by the printing press. The Internet may
paradoxically reduce reading, as it continually subdivides our limited
attention. How will this influence cultural evolution?

A final resource is "The Social Life of Information", by John Seely Brown:

Reading is limited by the technologies of writing and transportation.
Pencils, computers, cars and electronic networks must cooperate to deliver
a bound book or online web page to an eager reader. Without writing,
there is no reading. Why do people write? It takes much longer to write
a sentence than to read it. An artist may write for self-expression. The
author of a national constitution may write in support of a social vision.

The writers of laws define parameters for future cultures, the societies
of their children. Enforcement of written laws requires that people be
able to read the laws, and reach the same understanding of those laws.
Without enforced laws, communities can't achieve the stability needed to
create a distinct cultural identity.

It only takes two to create a private culture. For millions to share a
culture, they need a way of knowing when they are in agreement. One test
for agreement is the written contract. Without the writing and reading of
fixed symbols, we could never be certain what we had agreed to do.
Without a means of evaluating commitment and trust, there could be no


At 12:07 4/29/00, you wrote:

>I am in high school and writing an essay on why reading is central to our
>culture. I am looking for opinions I csn quote in my essay and references
>I can use to help support my argument that reading IS central to our
>culture (the assignment is to argue whether or not reading is central to
>our culture). I hope someone can give me some resources, I have been
>unable to find any. Thanks
>Beth Warren


Rich Persaud <>

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