Essay on Writing and Technology

1120 Words5 Pages
Writing and Technology

"The fact that we do not commonly feel the influence of writing on our thoughts shows that we have interiorized the technology of writing so deeply that without tremendous effort we cannot separate it from ourselves or even recognize its presence and influence (Ong, 317)."

In this modern age of computers, disposable pens, and mechanical pencils, it is easy to forget that at one time writing was not so simple or convenient. Most of us have ". . . become so used to composing virtual prose at a keyboard . . . (Baron 36)," that the thought of writing anything out by hand with a pencil, or any other implement, would not even cross our minds. The experience of trying to invent my own writing implements has given
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My first idea came up short, so I decided to try a different approach. Instead of using a rock as my paper, I thought I would find one I could use as a pencil. It did not take too long before I found a rock with some good edges I could use to cut and scrape with. I then proceeded to look for a piece of wood I could record some very deep and profound thoughts on ("This pen sucks. I miss my keyboard."). After a while I located a suitable branch, big enough to write on and small enough to carry around. With my primitive version of the pencil and paper in hand, I set out to work.

It was very hard. Etching words into the branch was a slow and tedious process. I had not finished three letters before I started getting painful blisters on my hand. It is difficult to write in a straight line and with even spacing and letter height when you are scraping a branch with a rock. I ended up cutting my writing short after my hand started to bleed. I don't think that my rock and branch idea is going to replace the P.C. in American homes anytime soon.

This assignment has definitely made me realize that like many people today, I ". . . take word processing as a given (Baron 36)." The first writers must have had a very difficult time. Crude tools are cumbersome and messy. The process is slow, tiresome, frustrating and worst of all, it can be painful. It is a testament to human perseverance that any strides in original writing
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