“Literacy did not establish a man’s social or political position. Instead, it was the entree into a powerful minority that controlled most of the business of the state, both public and private. Literacy conferred control over a society’s information systems, and those have always been crucial to a society’s life. They are all the more crucial today. It has been estimated that the information industry represents more than half the gross national product of modern industrial states. Information was a burgeoning business in ancient Mesopotamia. It is the biggest business of all in our time.” – A History of Knowledge by Charles Van Doren
According to statistics collected by National Center for Education Statistics in 2003, both Spokane and King County population percentage of people lacking basic prose literacy skills are at 8%. Those who were seperated by a language barrier were included in the indirect estimates of these numbers. Their website allows you to change the variables to examine your own state and counties. They also provide a list of quick facts about American literacy in comparison to sex, ethnicity, age and education as well as comparison to other countries.
Does information provide literacy or does literacy lead the way to information? Do you think information is easily accessible in your community?