aka printing press
gave rise to the concept of copyright
vastly precedes telegraph
Until writing was invented, man lived in acoustic space: boundless, directionless, horizonless, in the dark of the mind, in the world of emotion, by primordial intuition, by terror. Speech is a social chart of this bog.
The goose quill put an end to talk. It abolished mystery; it gave architecture and towns; it brought roads and armies, bureaucracy. It was the basic metaphor with which the cycle of civilization began, the step from the dark into the light of the mind. The hand that filled the parchment page built a city.
Printing, a ditto device, confirmed and extended the new visual stress. It provided the first uniformly repeatable "commodity," the first assembly-line--mass production.
It created the portable book, which men could read in privacy and in isolation from others. Man could now inspire--and conspire.
Like easel painting, the printed book added much to the new cult of individualism. The private, fixed point of view became possible and literacy conferred the power of detachment, non-involvement.