The first thing that happened to reading is writing. For most of our history, humans have been able to speak but not read. Writing is a human creation, the first information technology, as much an invention as the telephone or computer.
—Mark Seidenberg, Language at the Speed of Sight
A growing contingent of scholars argue that our “superpower” as a species is not so much our intelligence as our collective intelligence and our capacity for what’s called cumulative culture: that is, our ability to stockpile knowledge and pass it down from generation to generation, tinkering with it and…
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