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In the now lost ManuscriptCulture
(aka chirographic culture), knowledge was primary transferred through manual handwriting stored on some medium, such as papyrus, parchment, or paper, in some form, such as a roll or codex. Critical dimensional elements of this culture are
- Readers have the right (*) to copy and distribute texts.
- Texts only survived if they convinced readers to copy them.
- Texts are malleable, dynamic forms that reflect the handiwork of many people copying, correcting, reformulating over time, not just their originator.
- Individual codices were given PersonalAnnotation?s, many of which were copied as well.
- (*) The distribution of knowledge, given by God, was seen as a natural right, and so the question of readers having a 'copyright' was not really raised, especially since they had no other way to get access to the material.
Secondary elements of this culture related to the particular
- The cost of manufacture made TextAsObject?s prized possessions.
- As prized possessions, they tended to be illuminated.
- As costly products, they created a specialized (literate) industry in their production--the scribal guilds. Note that as such literacy crossed class boundaries, if not functional boundaries.
The WorldWideWeb is also much more like a ManuscriptCulture than any other previous age, but with the mechanization of the printing press, and the instantaneous transmission of electricity. Note that web pages are also costly, and so they are illuminated, and they have a scribal culture of web programmers.