Archive for the 'text' Category

Memory Isn’t What it Used to Be


Re–blog from the Guardian.

Taking notes in the 21st century.

Student Fights Record of ‘Cyberbullying’


Re–blog from NY Times.

I’m not going to defend the student Katherine Evans for bullying her English teacher Sarah Phelps on Facebook. But I feel a strong urge to comment on the utterance made by Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, towards the end of the article:

If Katie Evans said what she said over burgers with her friends at the mall, there is no question it would be protected by free speech.

What Simon most understand is that speech and text by no means is the same type of entity. Sound, that being speech, is a temporal entity. The sound object produced is immaterial and dissolves quickly, it never reaches beyond the very near environment. Of course it can be reproduced by someone else at a different time, but that’s another matter.

Text, that being for instance a post to Facebook, on the other hand is a material entity. It has a very long, or none at all, decay time — if we do our job correctly; see my precious blog entry — and can spread across and continue to be apart of the world for a very long time with the help of today’s information technology.

So to utter and to writing something isn’t exactly the same thing.

One last thought. Not that it is the case here but of course one can transform the chronological into something spatial by recording it. In other words, by using recording technology one can materialize the immaterial.