Thursday, October 13, 2011

Keyboard? How Quaint!

The other day I was writing some letters for some craft Work. It was a laborious task because of the details required in the pen strokes. I actually write manually a great deal but my handwriting is almost discernible unless I put some effort into it. I was almost tempted to do the writing via a computer but that would have defeated my purpose. Manual writing has become quite a chore in this age of technology. Information is accessed at the speed of light and the beautiful strokes put into the individual lines of a solitary letter is replaced with a single microsecond peck on a keyboard...or worse yet, the keyboard does the thinking for you by anticipating your intended word.

How does this effect us as magicians? In the very least, we are beginning to forget how to use the fine motor skills of our hands and our fingers. That carefully mastered upward swish in the pen stroke is created by that ever so fine rolling of the calligraphy pen in the fingers. I think it damages more than we think. (I will save you the soap box rant of how it is effecting our children.) I believe it ultimately effects how we communicate with others. After all, isn't each stroke, letter, word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, chapter or book a representation of an idea or a component within our physical world that we are trying to relay to another human? The primary interface for our written communication used to be a writing utensil, like a pen or a pencil. Now, the primary interface for our communication is an electronic device that requires power and an Internet connection. The mode by which we communicate has changed from self-powered to energy powered. The power of communication has literally been taken from our hands. We have become dependent on something less tangible and more obscure, the power grid. Do you care to disagree with me? Spend two weeks without touching a single electronic keyboard, no doubts that a good portion of you cannot go an entire day.

My biggest question for myself at this point is what am I to do? Do I give in to this dependence? Do I just accept this as a natural progress of humanity?

Nah!!! A good engineer always knows how to use more than one interface:

I offer you this hypothesis, perhaps the modern day scribe is a computer programmer?

No wonder a lot of my magician friends are also programmers.


Lisa Little Art said...

I was just commenting to a friend today about how I couldn't peel my eyes from the computer today and how it's so easy to live your life in sort of a virtual reality now. Well put. :-)

Mr Black said...

well said, i'd like to keep it old school by having a physical journal for magick related theories.

before i started that, i was debating if i should just do it online but having a pen and a notebook eventually won out. :)