Track Changes

I found the first half of Track Changes, the first 170 pages or so. It felt like, to me at least, that the first half was full of energy, vivid anecdotes from the writers like Steven King and Isaac Asimov and their relationship to the word processor and how it affected their writing filled that first half, plus some interesting history and fears that the technology brought. I was oddly fascinated with the book. And then the fascination escaped me, I began to feel that the book repeated itself over and over talking about the Wang, the IBM, and WordPerfect in the same aspects that were already mentioned early on in the book. Although, the chapter on the IBM self-writing typewriter was very interesting and made me wonder how Flusser would describe that machine. Is it the digital codes that he fears most, or the automation of writing? The IBM typewriter would be an interesting thing to explore through his lens because although it uses magnetic tape to store words, the user (probably female) can add and revise as the automotive process is going. It feels more like a melding of human and machine to make the process of writing more efficient than the destruction and misuse of the alphabet, and it avoids the pixalization, the changing of words into images of the word processors that would come later.

2 thoughts on “Track Changes

  1. I love the fact that you made the comment back to Flusser because I was wondering the same thing as I was reading the text—What Would Flusser Do/Say? I feel like his theory about technology and consciousness being tied together is a fascinating one when you think about the role of the secretary and how much writing she was doing, but also how much learning they had to do to expand their own consciousness in order to to begin thinking-with new technologies and machines. Also, all those new technologies expanded our accessibility to writing—instead of destroying writing’s future, it gave writing a future for many people.

  2. I found your idea of connecting this book with Flusser’s theory was very interesting. I wasn’t trying to make the connection with Flusser’s book, however, I wondered the same thing/question with you after reading your blog. I think it would be really funny if Flusser could give his opinions about this book. The IBM typewriter was also very interesting to me. People started to question the existence of such technology, although most of them know the purpose of inventing it was definitely to help people with their work productivity. Many people seem worried about this “issue”, and afraid that it will deprive our ability to think and eventually take over our jobs. I can’t help myself to ask “is it necessary to worry about such thing?”.

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