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Northern Virginia Ethical Society (NoVES)

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Article Discussion Meeting Feb 21st Oakton, VA

  • Wednesday, February 21, 2018
  • 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • 10304 Lynnhaven Pl, Oakton, VA 22124


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We will discuss George Steiner’s 1985 article “Books in an Age of Post-Literacy:  The decline in the skills of actual readers, further eroded by new technologies, also calls for drastic measures”.  

During the period in which the digital information era was rapidly expanding,  George Steiner wrote a remarkably prescient article (which is not on the internet) about the changes in reading habits and literacy skills. In 2018, when the digital realm has become even more pervasive, and the language the youth has become debased by texting culture, the decline in the reading skills is more pronounced.  We will discuss texting culture, emojis, the decline in memory work (pejoratively called “rote learning”) and the failure to teach cursive handwriting in many public schools.  One particularly witless teacher even punished a student whose mother was teaching her cursive.

Our discussion will focus on the perceptual differences between reading on paper and on digital screens. What do you read on paper and what do you read on screens? 

We will also discuss changes in educational practice such as schools not bothering with books on paper and the rapid decline in teaching of cursive handwriting in many public schools.

It is hoped that participants will have given Steiner’s article a close reading prior to the meeting and that you bring in your marked up copy with your comments on it in preparation for the discussion.  Copies will be provided at platforms. 

I am looking forward to leading the discussion and am sure it will be a lively one.


Andrew Orlans

February, 21  6:30 pm- 9:00 pm

Oakton Library Meeting Room 

10304 Lynnhaven Pl, 

Oakton, VA 22124 

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