Johnnie Moore

Alphabet and Goddess

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

My friend and ex-sparring partner Alan Moore got my attention with this thought:

Some people describe the alphabet as masculine whereas the web is feminine This has deep implications as to how culture is created, how business is created, how organisations are structured.


Alan recommends the book The Alphabet versus The Goddess, which

proposes that the process of learning alphabetic literacy rewired the human brain, with profound consequences for culture. Making remarkable connections across a wide range of subjects including brain function, anthropology, history, and religion, Shlain argues that literacy reinforced the brain’s linear, abstract, predominantly masculine left hemisphere at the expense of the holistic, iconic feminine right one. This shift upset the balance between men and women initiating the disappearance of goddesses, the abhorrence of images, and, in literacy’s early stages, the decline of women’s political status. Patriarchy and misogyny followed.

Shlain contrasts the feminine right-brained oral teachings of Socrates, Buddha, and Jesus with the masculine creeds that evolved when their spoken words were committed to writing. The first book written in an alphabet was the Old Testament and its most important passage was the Ten Commandments. The first two reject of any goddess influence and ban any form of representative art.

I love this theme of non-linearity and I’m feeling a bit less lonely in advocating it these days.

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