Session 21

Episode 5(6) — Writing and the rise of autocratic religions, states and empires

Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 5:30 PM

Seminar Room B309, Engineering Block B

According to the original schedule published early in the year, tonight's session was supposed to conclude Episide 5 with the topic "Rise of socio-technical organizations & cyborgs" covering writing, printing and the emergence of autopoietic organizations based on the use of technologies enabled by the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions. However, following on from researching the implications of Lynne Kelly's work on mnemonics as discussed in Session 20 and the transition from using formal mnemonic methods for managing cultural knowledge to using writing for managing this knowledge I have found the topics far too complex to be covered in one session. Thus, tonight's session focuses primarily on the transition from mnemonics to writing, and how these profoundly different technologies have affected the cognitions and societal structures of the populations making the transition from the practice of mnemonics to writing.

Session 21- Cadenza was, originally intended to present my personal experiences as a documentation and knowledge management systems analyst and designer in implementing computer-based knowledge management technologies in the Australian engineering project management company, Tenix Defence primarily responsible for the $7 BN ANZAC Ship Project. However, given that I have already made two public presentations on this topic:

I see no need to repeat that discussion here, and will devote Session 21 to the societal impacts of the printing and microelectronics revolutions that have had equally profound implications for the ever more rapidly changing processes of human cognition and complexity of human social systems.

Schmandt-Besserat's counting to tokens

Denise Schmandt-Besserat's depiction of the transition from counting tokens to equivalent words in cuneiform script

Darius clerk recording tribute

Darius Cup detail showing King Darius's clerk counting and recording the receipt of taxes or tribute (see Darius Vase | The Mathematical Tourist)