The fam is off at the cottage for the weekend and I had a long list of things to get done, writing projects and such, but of course I smoked a whole bunch and watched documentaries on TV all day, a couple of hours about WWII, a bit about the murder of Dian Fossey which, despite the good she did, couldn’t be called surprising. The poachers hated her, the Rwandan government hated her. I’m guessing it was the government.
Then, I watched one on the origins of language. Well, they started with cave paintings, which go back to about 2,500 years ago, so I’m sure they didn’t predate language, but they are the first examples of written communication we know of, and that’s something that differentiates us from the animals.
Whales may sing songs to each other but I know for a fact none of them has ever read a book. If there was ever in real life a creature named Moby Dick, he is unknown to modern Whales. Dogs may look up and howl at the moon, but it’s pretty sure none of them know what the moon and the stars ARE.
Written language is very, very important.