The Extension of 'Man' . . .
I'm still reading Mary Ruefle's Madness, Rack, and Honey, and I read the lines below yesterday on the subway, and they struck me because I recently edited a philosopher's paper that was making a similar point:
Writing and reading are ways the brain can contain itself outside of itself. If you can't remember the ingredients you need to make dinner you make a list and voilá -- a bit of your brain gets carried outside of itself. Eventually -- more millenia -- books came into being, and the human brain was able to keep expanding. A book is a physical expansion of the human brain. It is not an object to be treated lightly. When you hold a book in your hands, you are holding a piece of cerebrum in your hands. (267-268)The philosopher gave a similar example, but was more concerned with showing that smartphones are extensions of our brains.
Somehow, I'm reminded of McLluhen . . .