440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700

Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000 19:17:26 -0700

03 00050 61 00072001

Mr. Joseph M. Ransdell
Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
Texas Tech University
Box 43092
Lubbock, TX 79409 3092

Subject:   Plato, writing, oral discourse

Dear Joe,

Love your writing, and command of the material. While reserving judgment on your conclusions, the quality of analysis is not simply good, but a real joy to encounter.

Just can't resist on this. If Plato was worried that writing was taking over, and felt that orality was the stronger approach, why did he write it down? Why not just have a meeting, give a speech??

Cognitive Science explains limited span of attention, emotional fatigue, and commingling stuff in the mind, where connections get wired incorrectly and cursory treatment is forced by information overload and limited time, all of which is a secret from the conscious mind that remains hidden by stream of conscious communication, both oral and written. These are the challenges, much more so, than are poor communication skills which might be remedied by training.

Incidentally, I am not against conversation. Spend a lot of time talking, and some folks say I handle a meeting pretty well. It is not one or the other, but how can each compliment the other, so both are improved under the new reality of information overload?



Rod Welch