One of the things we've been discussing in one of my classes is this: what are the advantages and disadvantages to writing? How does writing change us? How are oral cultures different from literary ones?
I want to discuss this. I'll start by posting some thoughts of my own. Hopefully, my thoughts will be enough to, at least, give us something to work with.
EDITED SINCE FIRST FEW POSTS:
Language makes ideas available to us. It takes our thoughts and ideas, and recreates them as something tangible that can be dissected, amended, reworked, and regurgitated. It allows in thoughts that otherwise may never have entered our domain of consciousness. It makes us more aware of ourselves and others, as it allows us to define ourselves and others.
The whole is greater than the some of its parts. Sometimes, language allows this notion to be overlooked. It allows us to replace the reality we are experiencing with less than perfect descriptions. Through writing, we chance sincere understanding of ourselves and one another. We chance replacing the realities of what we really are with definitions, generalizations, and sweeping ideologies.