The Power of Words

Writing Space – The Computer, Hypertext and the History of Writing

by Jay David Bolter 

After reading, Jay David Bolter’s piece “Writing Space – The Computer, Hypertext and the History of Writing”, the main idea which resonated was that writing as a technology was the pinnacle of preserving human experience.

There is a well known phrase which states ‘knowledge is power’. This is often argued in opposition to the belief that physicality is the best means of control. The act of writing, as Bolter stated is “not innate”. It is the educated who progress to writing and understanding historical readings, in which then provide them power to rule and govern those around them.

As Bolter writes “All writing demands method, the intention of the writer to arrange ideas systematically in a space for later examination by a reader”. To me this denotes further the principle, that those who are in the position to write are in the position to “systematically” govern the ideas and principles of those around them.

British writer Rudyard Kipling famously said “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind”.


My favourite quote on the power of words is said by ‘V’ in the film ‘V for Vendetta’ :

“While the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will aways retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and, for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth”.

Watch in full: The Revolutionary Speech