Someone has put a hex on everyone

edited October 2009 in Story Games
http://www.stanford.edu/class/history34q/readings/Manguel/Silent_Readers.html

This article is about how literate people in anchient times always read out loud, proof being some roman being astounded by a scholar who read in silence and a few other times silent reading is mentioned as something strange. Why did reading silently become the norm? If someone would read out loud to themselves today you'd think they were brain damaged or mentally ill, even sounding the words in your mouth silently would make people think you're new to the whole text thing.

My theory is that some read words carry magic and 1000 AD someone put a spell on everyone and their future children to prefer silent reading so that magic isn't used. Who did that and why?

Comments

  • edited October 2009
    Higher density of population? We read almost any place and I think it is more or less a general desire not to impose on people. Also some people are shy of what they are in fact reading. Hmmm I think I will start trying to read out loud from now...soooo retro.
  • It's because they used to write words without spaces in between, so people had to read out loud to help figure out where the breaks between words were.
  • Reading aloud really slows your reading speed.
  • Listen, I don't want the real world explanation, I want to build a conspiracy that's cool enough to make something of.
  • Ever since the secret was rediscovered, those who have found it out have realized the importance of keeping it a secret. In the ancient days, the magic was dangerous but not something capable of altering the entire world...but with the advent of the printing press, record literacy rates, and massive book distribution schemes in place, it would only take one incredibly popular author deciding to organize a "national read my book aloud day" to potentially doom the entire world.
  • Wilmer, you might want to change it to "Little Ideas" or something instead of "Stuff to Watch" then.
  • RyRy
    edited October 2009
    I think it was the "room of one's own" phenomenon that followed the Black Death and some other major viral outbreaks.

    By which I mean, the survivors of the deadly hex internalized their psychic defenses, which was a kind of internal symbolic psychic representation. Of course, that crippled their exterior psychic manifestations, but what can you do?
  • As a motivation for many conspiracies... maybe reading aloud became seen as speaking as the writer, claiming even something beyond allegiance or representativeness, but metaphysical identity. So anything written by someone with power is, to someone with less power, much like a spell written on a scroll. A traitor bearing his own royal execution order might just read the "Cut off his head" part while pointing at the magistrate; and since the traitor is the Queen at that moment, then the magistrate's head must be cut off forthwith.
  • edited October 2009
    I understand it was the monastic order of the Temple Of Solomon, who would later become the Knights Templar. The hex was actually intended to prevent magic and witchcraft and, blasphemously, the monks needed to actually use magic to perform the hex.

    Graham
  • (More boring real-world stuff; well, actually, I find it fascinating personally, but ... we still do this, kind of. When you read, you subvocalize. So, we still read out loud, just, really quietly!)
  • Posted By: jason(More boring real-world stuff; well, actually, I find it fascinating personally, but ... we still do this, kind of. When you read, you subvocalize. So, we still read out loud, just, really quietly!)
    Only if you read slow enough. I read about 3 pages a minute but I can't speak that quickly. One of the tricks of speed-reading is the elimination of sub-vocalisation. Of course, I tend to do it when I type, because I don't type very quickly.
  • When you read a whole spellbook out loud, things tend to explode.
  • Posted By: BurrAs a motivation for many conspiracies... maybe reading aloud became seen as speakingasthe writer, claiming even something beyond allegiance or representativeness, but metaphysical identity. So anything written by someone with power is, to someone with less power, much like a spell written on a scroll. A traitor bearing his own royal execution order might just read the "Cut off his head" part while pointing at the magistrate; and since the traitoristhe Queen at that moment, then the magistrate's head must be cut off forthwith.
    Best.
  • In ancient times people could only comprehend knowledge they didn't directly experience themselves with their ears. The symbols on a page were just gibberish characters assigned to a sound. Only by reading the symbols aloud and hearing their sounds could readers comprehend their message.

    Later, humans developed the ability to comprehend with their eyes. Now they could interpret the symbols they were seeing directly without needing to hear them.

    Soon, we will be able to comprehend second hand knowledge with our aura. We will be able to read a book without even seeing the symbols, just holding the book in close proximity and absorbing the meaning.

    Eventually, we won't even need that and we will be able to comprehend all knowledge directly with our souls...so all knowledge everwhere will become immediately and instantly accessible. At that point we will be gods.
  • Actually, in ancient times, people could only understand speech through their ears. We still understood plenty of other things visually, like color or shape. Today, we still don't understand speech through our eyes--we just sound it out very quietly. To Steve's point, speed reading always entails a loss of comprehension. So, we can comprehend language through our eyes alone, if we sacrifice ... comprehension! So, how much has really changed at all?
  • Does speed reading entail a loss of comprehension is you read something 5x faster than someone else, but then read it again 4x?
  • Jason,
    Listen, I don't want the real world explanation, I want to build a conspiracy that's cool enough to make something of.
  • edited October 2009
    Soon, we will be able to comprehend second hand knowledge with our aura. We will be able to read a book without even seeing the symbols, just holding the book in close proximity and absorbing the meaning.
    Valamir, we've been able to do that for centuries. Why do you think they invented the printing press? Once people were able to digest great volumes of information just by standing in libraries, there was a great shake up in the church. The institutionalised propagation of lies, the vocally delivered strictures of feudal subservience, had finally been undermined. There was a great scholar, Rudolph Van Dieter, who discovered that the essence of meaning was transcribed to paper by gestures of the hand. He was assassinated by Johannes Gutenberg who then crafted a solution for the church. Now the church were more capable of controlling information, as long as the manuscripts were destroyed.
  • Damn...one more reason to hate the church...gotta give 'em credit though...they're masters of figureing out ways to control people...If Ming the Merciless had been a Cardinal, Flash wouldn't have stood a chance...
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