Readwise suggests something it thinks I might like to read at the end of each day’s review of things I have read. Today’s suggestion was this:
Goddess worship, feminine values, and women’s power depend on the ubiquity of the image. God worship, masculine values, and men’s domination of women are bound to the written word. Word and image, like masculine and feminine, are complementary opposites. Whenever a culture elevates the written word at the expense of the image, patriarchy dominates. When the importance of the image supersedes the written word, feminine values and egalitarianism flourish.
(Leonard Shlain, The Alphabet Versus the Goddess)
Ummm, I don’t think so.
It probably is selling briskly in a niche market of which I’m not a part. But it reminds me of some crazy PhD. thesis in a world where a high proportion of sane ideas have been explored by prior doctoral candidates. After defense of the thesis, the newly-minted PhD will have become heavily, heavily invested in the thesis, howsoever absurd, and will carry it into the academy with him/her.
The most baneful effects of this pattern are in theology, where an original contribution to the literature will very likely be heretical.