technological theology: or, freewriting toward a “literacy and technology narrative”

form and content, form and content, matter and energy, spirit and matter, ideas and sentences, html and well-crafted sentences…

It’s interesting how form and content, via increasing technology, are getting more imbricated, more meshed, more obviously bound up with each other, more inherent with each other. So, the Greek view and the Gnostic view (that spirit is the only thing that matters, that the body would do well to be left behind) is wrong. Wrong, wrong, can’t be right. And our technology helps us see that, right?

Thought seems like, or traditional metaphysical / theistic thinking is that thought can exist separate from a body, in the way an idea can exist separate from the essay it’s expressed in (and separate from the paper the essay is printed on). The soul is immaterial, in other words. Phooey!

What about all the things that help YOU understand ME? space between words, paragraphs, fonts style, font size, language, black on white is easier to read than light on dark, etc? All of this points to the “fact” that 1) I can’t FIND my thought (or CREATE it) without form and substance. 2) You can’t understand my thought without form and substance. Without messy slippery dirty chunks of material (or thin slices), or electrons.

The tools for thought are just getting lighter: rocks inscribed, clay tablets, animal skins (vellum), tree pulp (paper), computer punch cards, now electrons. More and more seemingly ethereal.

Or… it’s interesting that just when we THINK we can separate content from form we find out that we never could, never can. Actually, I don’t know what this reality proves. I just like the way it’s an analogia entis to the biblical view (well, the more traditional Hebraic (non Hellenistic) view) that you can’t have a human without a specific body AND you can’t have a human without a specific soul. Both. Together. Soul-body. Body-soul. Ain’t no separation.

But we like to perceive a separation, probably because we have such powerful imaginations and such powerful technology. The more ethereal (and ephemeral!) our “writing” gets, the more we see that “writing” as having a personhood,  a life of its own. “I am the Edison phonograph,” said the advertisements in 1906.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Long day tomorrow.


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