Sunday, March 02, 2008

Ivan Illich on Talking and Communicating

Ivan Illich’s sometime collaborator and friend Barry Sanders, co-author of ABC: The Alphabetization of the Popular Mind, has described a revealing incident where Illich hammered home to an audience his wariness of technology and his concerns about the death of books and reading.

“At one point during a talk in Maine, in the midst of Ivan describing his mistrust of electronic technology and in particular his terror of e-mail, a young man leapt to his feet and shouted out, ‘But, Mr. Illich, don’t you want to communicate with us?’ Ivan immediately shouted back, ‘No. I have absolutely no desire to communicate with you. You may not interact with me, nor do I wish to be downloaded by you. I should like very much to talk to you, to stare at the tip of your nose, to embrace you. But to communicate – for that I have no desire.’

Source: Richard Wall, ‘A Turbulent Priest in the Global Village’, LewRockwell.Com., 2 January 2005.

Image: Ivan Illich, 1926-2002