Odyssey Online

Analog Anon, on a Snowy Day

January 21, 2009 · No Comments

…in my web travels recently I washed over two articles that tugged at my analog heart.  Full disclosure, I love books and typewriters and am inclined to be swayed by arguments which exlaim the virtues of analog anything.  These articles however both do have something to say….“Ain’t Gonna Hang No Picture Frame” by Rob Horning is a well written short essay about the joy and evocative quality of phyisical photographs, what I used to call snap shots.  The title references a ulitilty that puts what looks like a picture frame around digital images, something horning calls “strange and sad.” Of physical photographs he writes, “…there is a sense that something delicate and ineffable has managed to survive, a small miracle amidst the rampant image destruction we experience in our disposable culture.”  Photo albums, shoe boxes full of unlabled and perhaps even slightly faded photos…

…also of note a piece in the Boston Globe titled “Cursive, Foiled Again” written by David Mehegan. It is a chronicle of the demise of cursive as a study for third graders, and for me this is regrettable.  Two reasons for cursive instruction:

  • Ability to understand what the English Poet Ted Hughes meant when he said “Handwriting is drawing.”
  • Self discipline, the eye mastering the hand.

Full disclosure, my own writing is illegible.  However, a student just handed me a form with positively beautiful cursive and the document is adorned. The document is the person (think about what Hughes said). Photographs and fountain pens on a snowy afternoon…

Categories: Licklider's Legacy · The Academic Internet