Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Who needs meaning?

According to the programmatic statement published by a new European framework formed to study e-reading, “empirical evidence indicates that affordances of screen devices might negatively impact cognitive and emotional aspects of reading.” This may (or – more likely – may not) raise some curious questions related to the following “causal” chain: if e-reading evokes a weaker affective response, and neuroscientists say “meaning” comes primarily from this sort of neurosomatic arousal, would an evocative text read from a screen have a less vibrant meaning? Of course, the whole beauty of a screen-based life is that it can make you immune to sensing such minor deficits – and asking such potentially troubling questions.