“Once upon a time, storytelling was all we had. Just talking. No photography or flicks or e-books. No tweeting or texting or Tumblr-ing. Before these modern mediums gave us the means to document our lives in sometimes ridiculously exacting ways, we passed along our history, personal experiences, and family traditions through a whisper in the ear, a gathering around a fire, an assembly in the village square.
This oral tradition of storytelling was a social-media leap from the solitary anecdotalism of cave drawing. Still, for all its enchanting qualities, it must have been cryptic stuff. “Our species existed for more than 100,000 years before the earliest signs of literacy,” Drew Westen, a professor at Emory University, noted in a recent op-ed piece in The New York Times, “and another 5,000 years would pass before the majority of humans would know how to read and write.”
Via Gregg Morris