Minimalist wrote:Actually I am inclined to think that writing developed as a response to a need. That need was primarily commercial. The need for merchants and kings to keep track of things.
I think that's a fair assumption based on how we are today. But I think that may be a faulty premise.
India has been described as a living museum and people there have absolutely prodigious memories.
Just one example: I was in a long line of women of all shapes and sizes and nationalities being measured for a sari top - those little, tight fittting blouses Indian women wear with their saris - and although the dressmaker measured my top from about five different angles, including my arms, she didn't even write down my name, let alone my measurements. And the next day I returned to pick up a perfectly fitting sari top.
But this is just one example of so many that I came across when I was there. And it made me think about memory ... and wonder if my own was so degraded because because I relied so much on the written word, so that part of my brain was no longer needed so much. As they say, it's a case of use it or lose it, and I think we've lost much of our memories, over time.