This morning I spoke at the Publishing for Digital Minds conference which precedes the London Book Fair. These are my speaking notes.
Don’t Mind Digital
I want to start by pointing out something that we all know but too often choose to deny:
Words in a particular order are very powerful.
They remain the primary machine we have for moving ideas around.
The things we do with them are astonishing.
We have constructed industries, ideologies, religions, careers and scientific theories on the back of them.
Once, the words were simply spoken, but their power was enormously enhanced when we found ways to capture them.
Writing is the most significant invention since fire, and the transformative power of the alphabet cannot be underestimated.
Writing matters so much that we deliberately reshape the brain function of every child in order to make them literate, because unlike language, reading and writing are not hard-coded into the neural organisation of our species.
So far, so good.