Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Books remember...

Sarah says it's easier to recall and discuss the precise content of (non-fiction) books rather than movies. Even well-produced documentaries. I agree, they are two totally different ways of processing information. The book actively engages the mind and the memory and also some sort of "gestalt" muscle that strives to comprehend the deep nature of the details, and fit them into an over-arching scheme. Films do much of the heavy lifting for you, and engage the eyes and ears to a much greater degree. The effect of this is a more passive engagement of the memory and gestalt receptors. As an example, we observed someone fumble through a recap of "Who killed the Electric Car" ("so these electric cars were made by some big company and then they were taken off the market because the oil companies or because the car companies didn't want them out there, and they recalled them...) and yet completely seize upon the innards of the book Freakonomics as owned information that could be instantly and confidently asserted and woven into conversation without any memory lag or lack.

("A Young Girl Reading" by Fragonard)


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