Socrates: Writing, you know, Phaedrus, has this strange quality about it,
which makes it really like painting: the painter's products stand before us
quite as though they were alive; but if you question them, they maintain a solemn silence.
So, too, with written words: you might think they spoke as though they made sense,
but if you ask them anything about what they are saying, if you wish an explanation,
they go on telling you the same thing, over and over forever. Once a thing is put in writing,
it rolls about all over the place, falling into the hands of those who have no concern with it
just as easily as under the notice of those who comprehend;
it has no notion of whom to address or whom to avoid.
And when it is ill-treated or abused as illegitimate, it always needs its father to help it,
being quite unable to protect or help itself.

Plato (427-347 BC) in Phaedrus.



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