Lost art of typing


The BBC has a piece on Japan Love Affair with the Fax Machine. Older population has gotten used to that technology (which allows for hand-writing). For years, I have used email except for  Thank-you notes in writing. I can reasonably predict that even typing (as we know it) will be a lost art (speech recognition will be in) I-pad, I-phone replacing IBM Selectric.

The late Andy Rooney was seen inseparable with his typewriter. So was American literary giant, Norman Mailer.

Something about the man and his tools. We think as we type. The neurons are hard at work, one character at a time. The sound of those banging keys is rhythm to our ears, which then reflects each thought. A feedback loop. We know you are out there in the ether. And that you are lonely. We, writers, are too. Awake at night, half-sleep during the day. We are commanded by sudden thoughts. We are mere instruments and Irises.

Via fax, chat, text, tweet and type, we send out an SOS. That we were once here, alive and breathing, waiting for validation. Each, with love, hope and fears.

Love unceasingly. Hope never fails and fear as basis for survival.

We invent, reinvent and reshape this known universe in our likeness (while we are byproducts of earlier version).

Confined, reduced and restricted, we try to liberate ourselves by any means we can. We imitate others, read their works, copy their findings and their maps.

From Magellan to Mandela, we know they are out there, not taking injustice sitting down.

Yes, some did not play by the rules. But most do.

In the end, humanity benefits and makes progress as a whole.

Rilke advises the young poet that he should dig deep inside, where it’s dark and vulnerable.

We each carry that river of doubt. About our tomorrow, about the unknown and unfamiliar.

We want change and continuity at the same time. We are paradoxical.

A little progress, yes. But not too much. Because new pieces of hardware displace old ones, we end up making frequent trips to the Salvation Army or Goodwill, where their electronic section kept piling up with industrial waste. Among those, the fax machine.  Somewhere along the way, I hope to run into an IBM Selectric. CSI of the future will learn that our civilization once have a love affair with bulky stuff, fax machines made in Japan, and used in Japan.

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