How the web is undermining reading

From Plato to Guitar Hero, we have always been wary of change – but the internet poses a serious threat to society’s ability to readFor as long as humans have been developing new technology, we’ve been worrying that our inventions will cause our brains to decay.Even the development of writing was seen as a threat to the memory skills that enabled ancient poems to be passed from teller to teller – many scholars believe Homer’s epics weren’t written by a single man, but were the product of a long tradition of oral poetry. Arguably civilisation gained something better in exchange, but there were still those who bemoaned the loss of the memory skills of the oral culture; in Mary Renault’s novel The Praise Singer, master-memoriser Simonides worries that his student’s memory will become hazy because he is writing things down.

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