Episode 586

April 25, 2020

Text began as cave drawings.

Paintings on stone told stories of hunt and harvest, love and war.

To explain the pictures people made sounds and gestures.

To record the explanations they crafted letters representing the sounds.

Gestures were called “here,” “there,” and “over there.”

Images were called “hunter,” “trees” and “deer.”

Things were named “stick,” “basket,” “fire,” etc.

Actions had names like “hold,” “touch,” “throw,” “walk” and “run.”

To find game to hunt, sentences such as “over there forest deer” were formed.

To hunt the deer “stick” became “spear” and “throw” became “kill.”

These words were applied to “others” in the tribe nearby so that war could be described.

“Man” and “woman” had obvious meanings as well as the endless words to describe their relationships.


Pictures became words.

Words became sentences.

Sentences became conversations.

Conversations were recorded in books.

Books were preserved in the technology of the time.

Stone, paper, ink, print, recording, digital chat, Wikipedia…

and on it goes.


Now, almost every word, sentence and paragraph ever written can be retrieved on your phone.

Educators teach the skill of high communication where words craft descriptions, instructions, relationships and emotions.

Authors have put the human condition into stories of words.

Shakespeare, Vonnegut, Huxley, Hemingway, King, Twain, Orwell, Steinbeck, Rowling, Tolkien, Poe, Homer, Doyle, Eliot, Seuss, Verne.

Poets, historians, novelists, technical writers, programmers, philosophers, lyricists, playwrights summarize the human race.

All we need to understand ourselves is to read.


Text is on a downward curve.

Politicians dumb words down for the masses of uneducated.

Netflix makes stories passive, punctuated with ice cream and beer.

Telephones force people to communicate spontaneously with the spoken word.

Spontaneous communication is hard.

People prefer to write in short fragments of texted thought.

Even these spurts of misspelled text are hard for some people.

Maybe they just don’t think they have time to communicate with the other person.

Why not read and write and communicate with words, sentences and stories now, when all we have is time?

People have resorted to using emoji to express emotions, forsaking text.

i received a text from someone the other day which was pure emoji.

This cave drawing said, “hate home want go out.

😡 🏠 🙋‍♂️ 🚶‍♀️🚪

Sigh… 😔


  1. Vic Spindler April 24, 2020
  2. LUANA LANLGOIS April 26, 2020

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