Blog: Dave LeggettPen and paper

Dave Leggett | 26 February 2009

I am typing this on a keyboard, of course. But I do actually often pick up a pen (or pencil - I actually get a small buzz from sharpening an HB and connecting a tip-top graphite nib with paper) and write things down. The freedom you have with a blank piece of paper is extraordinary and it's actually much quicker than typing. You can annotate, emphasise and doodle if you want to - all in seconds and you won't need help because you have pressed a wrong key and it's suddenly all gone. Paper and pen is great for getting ideas down quickly. In certain situations it still wins hands down over a much more cumbersome laptop or netbook.

Maybe future generations will find themselves learning from elders about the ancient art of handwriting. Found myself reading an article about the death of handwriting over morning coffee and it had me thinking about broader technological change over time. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Luddite and I strongly believe in technological change as a force for good. But sometimes you don't realise what you have lost till it's gone.

Will future generations with voice commanded and fully automated vehicles hark back to the halcyon days when drivers were free? And now a song from ancient Canadian rock band Rush on that very theme - Red Barchetta - has popped into my head. This coffee is strong. Better get on with some work now.    

The slow death of handwriting


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