The beginning of silent reading changed Westerners’ interior life

For centuries, Europeans who could read did so aloud. The ancient Greeks read their texts aloud. So did the monks of Europe’s dark ages. But by the 17th century, reading society in Europe had changed drastically. Text technologies, like moveable type, and the rise of vernacular writing helped usher in the practice we cherish today: taking in words without saying them aloud, letting them build a world in our heads.

If a relatively small typographic advancement had such a profound impact on the way we construct reality, imagine what being constantly interconnected with every other individual in the world will mean for future generations.

November 25, 2017

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