Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ong and the Ecological Age

A number of people have asked me about an Ong quote I included in a CFP in which Ong suggests that we are in an ecological age:

The age in which humans existence is now framed, the age in which human life and technology so massively and intimately interact, can well be styled not only the information age and the age of interpretation, but, perhaps, even more inclusively, the ecological age, in principle an age of total interconnectedness, where everything on the earth, and even the universe, is interconnected with everything else, no only in itself but, ideally, in human understanding and activity.

That passage is from Ch. 12 of Ong's unfinished book Language as Hermeneutic: A Primer on the Word and Digitization. Chapter 12 is titled "Language, Technology, and the Human" and the quote is on page 4 of the typescript. Ch. 12 is one of the more unfinished chapters (there are 13 chapters and a prologue which range from 3 to 28 typed pages). I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but the entire typescript is about 40,000 words. As Language as Hermeneutic does not yet have an item number, MLA bibliographic information would be:

Ong, Walter J. Language as Hermeneutic: A Primer on the Word and Digitization. Ts. Walter J. Ong Manuscript Collection. Pius XII Memorial Library, Saint Louis University.

Unfortunately, each chapter has its own pagination, so you'd need to indicate that it's on page 4 of chapter 12. Or you could go the easy route and cite this blog entry.

Those interested in the above quote should take a look at Ong's "Ecology and Some of Its Future," which was published in 2002 (Explorations in Media Ecology 1.1 (2002): 5-11). It's a short piece but a good one. And no, I checked and this quote isn't in the article.

Cross posted to Machina Memorialis.


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