Writing on the Computer

The most interesting part of Theodore Nelson's article was when he talked about the three false theories of writing. Though inspiration is a key tool in writing, hard work is also necessary. It's impossible for a writer to have inspiration and not the drive to dig deeper into their ideas. When writers are inspired, it takes a lot of work for that inspiration to be perceived correctly. Once an idea hits, the perspiration comes from elongating that idea and extracting information. Once a good outline is created, it again takes a lot of work to fill in the missing pieces. Any idea or outline is just a springboard.

"If a writer is really to be helped by an automated system, it ought to do more than retype and transpose." Clearly, a computer can only document ideas. Nelson talks about how a computer is just a "mechanical aid." It helps the writer organize and structure his ideas, but can't create them for him. A computer's hard drive can give other thoughts on how to structure a certain sentence, or how to correctly spell a word. It's amazing what a computer can do for you, but not for itself. Without the ideas humans put forth, computers would be useless.

Nelson's article was very innovative because he predicted the future of the computer. He developed a simple outline of what a computer should do for humans, and had no idea that technology has created so much more. It's surprising to look at today's technology and realize how much we've advanced since this article was written. Not only can we make lists on the computer, but we can highlight certain parts of paragraphs, change fonts, and even make graphs. His projection of the computer was underestimated.