Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Does Writing Have a Future?$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Vilém Flusser

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816670222

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816670222.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 20 June 2021



(p.5) Superscript
Does Writing Have a Future?

Vilém Flusser

Mark Poster

Nancy Ann Roth

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter reflects on thinking and writing about writing, an exercise it calls “superscript.” It suggests that all writing is “right”: it is a gesture of setting up and ordering written signs. And written signs are, directly or indirectly, signs for ideas. So writing is a gesture that aligns and arranges ideas. And written signs are the quotation marks of right thinking. All writing is orderly, and there is something mechanical about this ordering. One can leave writing, this ordering of signs, to machines. That is, grammar machines, artificial intelligences that take care of this order on their own and fundamentally perform not only a grammatical but also a thinking function. The chapter then discusses two kinds of thinking, namely, mythical thinking and logical thinking. It also describes writing consciousness as historical consciousness and how writing, as an ordering of written signs into rows, can be mechanized and automated. Finally, it contends that all history can be confidently left to automated machines.

Keywords:   writing, superscript, written signs, machines, artificial intelligence, mythical thinking, logical thinking, historical consciousness, history, automated machines

Minnesota Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.