20170219 Book title: Reinventing Knowledge

20170219 Book title: Reinventing Knowledge

Postby tahanson43206 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:43 am

This book was published in 2009. It was on display in a local library, and I took a quick look at it. This book appears to be appropriate for this forum.
I haven't read it, so would appreciate comments by anyone who has.
Begin Quotation from Amazon:'
Reinventing Knowledge: From Alexandria to the Internet Paperback – September 8, 2009
by Ian F. McNeely (Author), Lisa Wolverton (Contributor)
3.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
See all 7 formats and editions

End Quotation.

Update 2017/02/20 Thanks for Dave Z for the link to the review of this book.

Encouraged by the review, I went back to the library today and leafed through the book with more attention. I picked up a sense the authors were interest in apocalyptic visions that have been present in human society for thousands of years. They identify at least four different rebuildings of knowledge. One narrative reviewed the history of transmission of knowledge via oral transmission in India, where it was (apparently) thought that an oral tradition was superior to writing. That entire operation ended when Islam swept over the region. At its peak, the authors report that thousands of people were assembled to carry on the oral tradition. I deduce that this may not be a reliable way to pass on knowledge, with the caveat that Homer's Iliad started as an oral tradition that was eventually recorded, and the same is (apparently) true of Beowulf. It is evident that an aural tradition CAN work to preserve knowledge, but as the disappearance of languages around the world right now is proving, rich as an aural tradition may be as long as it is maintained, it is fragile.

Last edited by tahanson43206 on Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 20170219 Book title: Reinventing Knowledge

Postby Dave Z » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:57 am

Looks intriguing.

Here's a link to the Kirkus Review:


Looks to be a discussion and examination of various institutions and means for accumulating and passing on knowledge. Will put it on the booklist!

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