Rediscovering the Written Word – Richard Harper

A considered and erudite perspective on communication, social media and the future of the written word.

Richard Harper, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, is interviewed by NESTA (the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts) in this vimeo video.  There are some great nuggets of insight:

  • “we are discovering anew the artfullness of communication”
  • “the written word will become even more powerful and central to the ways we articulate ourselves”
  • “writing has re-asserted itself as the genius of civilisation … to create a fabric of ideas which bring us together … articulated with the written word”

The “artfullness of communication” comment reminds me of Hugh Laurie’s observation that the attraction of Twitter would be more as a vehicle for sparsely beautiful haiku, or eloquent one-liners (a la Armando Iannucci), than the tail-chewing inanities with which it is more commonly associated.

Only five minutes long and worth a watch.

Many thanks to Katie Ledger and Barrie Hopson for spotting and tweeting this.


About Andrew Munro

An independent business consultant, interim manager and writer, Andrew operates through his company, Burning Pine Ltd (
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