I think though that these shifts in our ways of thinking aren't unique to this period in history. One of the coolest theories I've heard is from Julian Jaynes who wrote the lovely egg-headie titled monograph The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. It's on my list of books I will read when either a freak nuclear accident or complete isolation from Google makes me smarter. Jaynes looks at ancient literature and argues that in works like the Iliad humans aren't conscious by our current definition. Words weren't used metaphorically and the human mind functioned with a bicameral split. He argues that when an ancient person perceived stimulus from the intuitive, creative right temporal lobe it would be interpreted as Athena issuing a command or delivering a celestial missive. He wrote that at a certain point when the lobes of our brains started functioning in concert, writers would lament that the gods had stopped talking to them.
The ability to read and write things down easily was an enormous shift for our memories. Portions of human memory could be housed in books. Before the days of sticky notes and scratch pads ancient and Medieval thinkers would rely upon very intricate mnemonic devices. Augustine described the use of memory palaces. You would create various rooms containing symbols for things you wanted to remember. Feats of memory were much praised throughout the medieval world. There was a fascinating article about human memory in the National Geographic last fall that gives a wonderful overview of art of memory in the ancient world. The author also describes an interesting new phenomenon; our memories are increasingly residing in our hard drives and remote servers. I think mine must have gotten lost in cyberspace somewhere. Or maybe it never made it there with everyone else's. Could it have gotten stuck in a loose wire somewhere? Maybe if I do a Google search for it it might turn up.