Reading Response 2



John’s talks about print culture, how it has developed over time. He addresses what it is to actually print something, a long with ways it can affect our human ability to think and work with technology.

One important concept that is talked about in the reading is the concept on knowledge. In the beginning printing is preserving out natural knowledge. What we know and can record or write down to remember because of the ability printing has as a technology to preserve words and their use. On page 6 “ It proposes a new account of how early modern Europeans put printing to use to create and maintain knowledge about the natural world.’’ (John’s) Another important idea is “culture” how in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries printing developed. It had an impact on the culture that is surrounded depending on where one is and what their beliefs were. Printing however could also bring cultures together. According to Eisenstein “printing meant the mass reproduction of precisely the same texts, repeatable on subsequent occasions in different locations.” To me this is saying that the same thing can be printed off time and time again in any location. Which could also translate to any culture. That would then serve as a common ground that multiple cultures have also had the ability to read what has been printed off and affected them. It also contributed to the ways on “teaching yourself” now that printing was something that people were capable of their education and the way people and cultures could learn and teach expanded. Third the attribute printing had to science and Galileo. It was seen as a new technology. Galileo was very specific with his beliefs of printing and what it was capable of doing. With that being said he was able to conduct his law and theories in a printed book. Based on science people learned of Galileo. He challenged the use of books and publication in which what did it really be to get something published. With his printed book seeing success it also contributed to and downfall in printing.

One aspect I do not understand is why because Galileo arguments and teaching caused people to be upset. It was his opinion and finding; people just read it and either didn’t agree with his findings or just found it insane to belief. I do not understand how that directly damaged the use of the printer, because I’m sure there were other things that got printed off that people very much enjoyed. Another part that confused me is the knowledge part. It seems like it could enhance knowledge but then again restrict is as well.

Was printing actually a good technology when it came to how the social affects and people inherited the use of a book? I think it was but there are arguments in the reading that question how they were to print and what exactly is the proper use of it?