Today’s idea: Since written language is merely a technology for storing and transferring information, it’s likely to be replaced by a newer technology that performs the same function more effectively, a futurist says.
E Reader on empty bookshelf. This image has been manipulated using Photoshop.
The Britannica Blog has a series of posts called Learning and Literacy in the Digital Age, including this one by Patrick Tucker, senior editor of The Futurist. He speculates that text could be rendered obsolete not by the “culture of the image” — that threat is so last century — but by the so-called “information age” itself:
… Research into cyber-telepathy has direct ramifications for the written word and its survivability. Electronic circuits mapped out in the same pattern as human neurons could, in decades ahead, reproduce the electrical activity that occurs when our natural transmitters activate. Theoretically, such circuits could allow parts of our brain to communicate with one another at greater levels of efficiency, possibly allowing humans to access data from the Web without looking it up or reading it.