On the bottom of page 161 and top of 162, Kirschenbaum (or rather his word-processor) writes: “Today some believe that the grail of human-computer interaction is to operate machines directly by neural impulse. Writing can unfold at the speed of thought, without regard for fumbling fingers, inflammation of the carpal tunnel, or other bodily functions.” After reading that, I became extremely uneasy and felt like, if that technology were to happen, I would find extreme difficulty writing with it.
First, it deeply unsettled me personally physicalizing the text, whether it be through writing with ink or typing, is a large part of what attaches me to my text, what makes me feel like I have written it. Also, when I’m ‘in the zone’ with my writing, it’s almost like I’m not thinking and my fingers are the ones doing the writing.
If this technology were to become present in my lifetime, I don’t think I would be rushing to use it. I’d dip a toe in, maybe. Of course, this is how many writers felt about the invention of the word processor, as evident in Track Changes. I wonder if, in a few generations, another Track Changes-esque text will be published, tracking the invention of the thought-processor and various authors’ relationships to it.