Loved this essay from Clive Thompson. The part about exporting his marginalia into a little mini-book is very intriguing. And how compelling reading changes our habits:
The phone’s extreme portability allowed me to fit Tolstoy’s book into my life, and thus to get swept up in it. And it was being swept up that, ironically, made the phone’s distractions melt away. Once you’re genuinely hankering to get back to a book, to delve into the folds of its plot and the clockwork machinations of its characters, you stop needing so much mindfulness to screen out digital diversions. The book becomes the diversion itself, the thing your brain is needling you to engage with. Stop checking your email and Twitter! You’ve got a book to read!
Reading War and Peace on my iPhone
When you can type quickly, there’s a joy to the iterative quality of writing. You start bashing out a sentence, then realize about half-way through that it’s not quite what you want — the phrasing or ideas are “off”, clichéd, flat, barbaric. So you instantly delete all but the first few words and rewrite, zipping back and forth and trying out various microexperiments in phrasing and conception. This is delightful and fun, and pretty much impossible if you can’t type fluidly.
Proponents of handwriting tend to romanticize the physicality of the pencil and paper, while failing to appreciate the rich physical and kinesthetic joys of the keyboard.
Good to see this argument for both/and rather than either/or.
The Joy of Typing
I feel like I’m losing some of my ability to think. Why? Because I’m not blogging any more.
collision detection: The art of public thinking