In this program, Stephen Fry delves into the history of the written word, starting with the earliest writing - cuneiform - and ending with blogging and twittering. Along the way he looks at how printing shaped our relationship with writing, eventually resulting in libraries, encyclopedias, and computer code. Topics include Egyptian hieroglyphics, Homer, and the Phoenicians; the spread of Arabic; pinyin and Chinese literacy (with Zhou Youguang, called the Father of Pinyin); typography, the development of the book, and the standardization of English; the rise of reading, and Diderot's Encyclopédie; the Bodleian Library; Wikipedia; social media and the Arab Spring; and the MIT Media Lab.
Tradition without Writing (3:51) -- Cuneiform Writing (3:32) -- Advances in Cuneiform (1:45) -- Alphabet (3:46) -- Dome of the Rock (2:30) -- Shrine of the Book (3:52) -- Printing: Spreading the Word (4:23) -- Pinyin: Phonetic Mandarin (3:27) -- Movable Type (6:21) -- Diderot's Encyclopédie (4:46) -- Bodleian Library (2:27) -- Library Relevance (4:35) -- Founder of Wikipedia (2:06) -- Unlikely Authors (3:25) -- New Technology/New Types of Books (0:54) -- Interactive Text (5:50) -- Credits: Spreading the Word: Fry's Planet Word (0:35)
The information below has been drawn from sources outside of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries. In most instances, the information will be from sources that have not been peer reviewed by scholarly or research communities. Please report cases in which the information is inaccurate through the Contact Us link below.