Three questions: if writing motivated bureaucratic systems by nature of the medium, are there societies that have developed writing and literacy from the onset for religious/other purposes? Second, from catholicism and protestant’s conflicts to encouraging literacy in the people, are there other ways for literacy to develop aside from documentation and religious bases? (which is sort of like the first, except more on development and less the start) Third, does literacy’s definition change based on its utilization in specific areas or time?
Does literacy rate/speed correlate with civilization advancement? There was the argument that war/poverty/disasters hampers literacy — if that’s the case, what is the correlation between literacy and critical thinking? Specifically, should literacy take into account the ability to critically think and infer? After all, if being able to sign your name, as was Kaeste’s benchmark for determining literacy, qualified as being literate…that’s sort of a low bar? Granted, being able to read the documents, understand (sort of) what they’re talking about and consenting with a signature may seem like a reasonable standard, but there’s always the question of what degree the person understands a paper’s contents and consents to a signature, and whether they’re critically thinking through the process.
On a side note, are there any other major factors aside from war and trade that greatly influence literacy development?