Short history of the digital communication trap

Un-inventing the printing press

Printing co-evolved on different places at different times. Woodblock printing originated in China 220 yrs before Christ. The world’s first movable type printing press technology was also developed in China by the Han Chinese printer Bi Sheng between the years 1041 and 1048. Though it didn’t become common as block printing did.

One wonders why the Chinese movable type printing press was not spread in China while it did in Europe. An explanation often offered is the large number of Chinese characters. But this is only half of the story. In the middle ages and before, the art of writing was practised by a class of clerks not being eager to render their knowledge and privileges. In fact also in Europe written language was mainly done in abbeys by monks [1] copying texts. But, the inventor of the printing press Johannes Gutenberg was not a monk, he was a craftsman. Having worked as a professional goldsmith, Gutenberg made skilful use of his knowledge of metals.

Guild signs of city of Ghent, Belgium

Guild signs of craftsmen in city of Ghent, Belgium

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