Grand theory. What does Innis do? Road map of academic argument
Minerva’s owl departs when the civilization is in decline And just before the owl leaves scholars produce their best
Innis takes a wide look at history and asks What is the effect of media technology on learning.
He posits his theories: THEORY: If the technology is complex- i.e Sanskrit then its costs are high and Monopolies and hierarchies are created.
Flexible languages can adapt to vernaculars But if not flexible then Monopolies and hierarchies are born Reading is different from writing It implies passive recognition of power
When a new technology appears A realignment occurs in monopoly of knowledge and hierarchy. Bangalore Church vs Lutherans
A technology that denies access to vernacular Will be broken down by force Cavalry example i.e paper and printing technologies broke the power of the church.
and The masses always have more power/force/strength than the ruling class So rulers have to use public opinion to stay in power
Therefore monopolies of power Have relations with Organized force.
Interest in learning requires stability Powerful organized force for protection
Concentrated learning requires written tradition Rigidity and lack of contact with vernacular
A great institution is The tomb of the founder As this rigidity increases the relations between The vernacular and organized force collapse
And while this is happening a new technology Comes in from the fringes of society. i.e Church banned printing press in France Books were smuggled in from elsewhere.
In the meantime scholars produce their best work. Move to more secure Areas and cause Flowering there i.e Ionians.
Organized force will be successful when Oral tradition vernacular technology combine Nationalistic Narratives and Ideologies Are examples Of this
When art reaches a state of perfection It will decline Perfection imported will have a stifling effect
New technologies for Innis Transport Script Cunieform Papyrus Parchment Paper Radio etc
Cunieform = old technology controlled by priests Horse = new technology enabled formation of city state unions Political organization evolved Village city union of cities Pharoanic empire system More flexible writing technology gave rise to more accessible Hebrew bible, allowed escape from temple ---- is this true?
writing Refutes myths Roman gods die Allows poetry and shades of meaning Rigid systems of law Abstract thought- philosophy History is born But in the Roman era the oral was still important
Plato ----- Oral + written tradition Aristotle--- reading not oral instruction Allows flexibility , open ended immortal inconclusiveness Monarchy of mind Love for collections- dilettantes, taste, respect Scholars now concerned with conservation, clarification, past
Books became powerful meant for those who read all books Literature became divorced from real life Ivory tower Libraries became powerhouses to offset power of Priests and temple
With the decline of the oral tradition power of expression and creation and grooves that determine channels of thought declined too. Literature, poetry , theatre died Jurisprudence and gladiator spectacles flourished
Hebrew Ordinary people speak Armaic Hebrew can’t absorb vernacular so Christianity escapes lower status by Deploying new fresh vernacular language.
New technology parchment replaces papyrus Durable/ compact/ easier to use Allows silent reading to self cumbersome/ not durable Kept in scrolls Rarely consulted Read aloud to group