Literacy is great in many respects. Literacy, the ability to read and write, is often taken for granted due to a lack of appreciation for the advantages of being literate. It is infuriating that literacy is not taken seriously as it should because most of humanity’s history has been one of illiteracy. The prevalence of literacy is the greatest contribution schools have ever offered and will offer. Now why is literacy important?
Literacy has given way to the prevalence of formally written laws and formally written historical traditions. Laws that are not written can’t depend on any sense of objectivity. Informal laws and spoken traditions depend upon the personality that controls them and the community at large that respect them.
Who would be the wiser when a chief of a village or king of a kingdom decided to change the informal laws? It is purely at his and the elites’ discretion alone. Then there is the discretion to which the people follow the personality that controls those laws. The social contract was informal and did not command objectivity. I suspect if we were capable to observe most of human history, we would find that most people were tried by mob action or mock trials. I imagine people prosecuting their political foes, heretics, and any other person they dislike at their discretion. That’s disturbing but more so dangerous.
Versus modern America in today’s time has a literate society, there are laws that everyone must follow from top to the bottom. Even the President of the United States is theoretically obligated to follow the law whether he likes it or not. Literacy is important for laws and historical traditions but also for day to day usage. Most people have a formally written job description but probably have never read it nor can they recall it. That’s very dangerous for a variety of reasons considering they are paid based on what is in their job description. Employees get to doing things they are not obligated to do(other people’s jobs) and then you have other employees disregarding what they are actually obligated to do. A failure of respect for literacy and the acknowledge of one’s purpose. I have yet to understand why people make laws, policies, documents, job descriptions, and etc. if they have ZERO intention of following what they wrote or someone else has written.
Now knowing the quick and short importance of literacy that I offered above, do reading and writing words equate to the understanding of words’ themselves. More words do not equal better communication as most nagging loudmouthed harridans would have us believe. Nor do less words lead to better communication either as most socially inept shy men would have us believe. The question is the tone of the words as well as the choice of the words which may or may not lead to better communication. The same phrase can be said in aggressive loud way or casual nonchalant way but will effectively create different meanings. The words remained the same, just the tone changed. The meaning behind the words changed as well.
Tone is removed from entirely from written words. Written words have proven to be tone deaf.
The Internet in my opinion is the greatest example of tone deafness human history. For example, a millionaire commenting on an article. His opinion maybe considered the same as a homeless man. First, how do we know they are a millionaire? How do we know the other man is homeless? We don’t unless there is enough proof. We have two stranger anonymously commenting on an article in most places on the Internet. To be more precise, you don’t know if the person commenting here on this blog is a real person or not. I could be just a bot, what proof is there? Think and think critically but don’t take it too seriously as there are greater things in the world to worry about.
On top of who is speaking we don’t know the tone in which they are speaking. How do you truly know if someone is serious or they are a troll? Some may so, this person has a history of commenting with outlandish posts. My response is, how do you know that they don’t have a mental disability of some sort? You never know who is talking and how they are talking based on written words alone. Tone is removed and we haven’t a clue to who maybe on the other side of that keyboard typing away.
The Internet is the a place where one suspends belief the greatest. You never know who is commenting and why they are commenting. In reality, the real world, we find it easier to pick up on if someone is smart, stupid, rich, poor, serious, joking, or what other description you can think of.
Written words are important at times. But for me, words have little to no value outside of fiction because words have nothing to do with actions. There is an overzealous fascination with written words to take them on as if they are animate creatures that come to life. From my experience, many people equate words to automatically mean actions or future actions. That shows a lack of care for what is done but a love of what was said(See Past Political Campaign Promises). One’s intention is immeasurable in most cases. We can only measure action.
“Words only matter as much as those that can back up those words.”