The blinking cursor

There’s no other way to say this: there is a lot of rubbish online, on websites, fora, social media, blogs (none is immune). But behind the rubbish, like any rubbish, is unchecked dissipation, in this case writing incontinence. Again, nobody is really immune, and this short rant might just be proving the point. Everything goes these days, as far as writing goes. It makes one think, what on earth is making everybody type all of a sudden?

My theory is this, the blinking cursor is to blame for everything. The vertical-bar blinking cursor was invented by the engineer Charles A. Kiesling in 1967 and is now everywhere.

The cursor is bad enough already – why something needs to run (for non Latin-minded readers, cursor means runner or messenger) beats me (and not to the finishing line). Writing has always been one of the slowest human operations ever conceived. It used to take hours to just get the tech ready for writing, preparing the pen, mixing the ink, quarrying the stone, harvesting the reed or slaughtering the sheep.

The blinking cursor is the ultimate expression of impatience. Why does the cursor have to blink, unless to urge us to type, to type quicker, to type anything, as long as we type. Because not typing is depriving the cursor of all the typing possibilities, and the blinking will have been in vain. By blinking, the cursor is making a statement, telling us that we need to hurry, to do it, now, before the blinking stops.

I’m certain that the world would be different if cursors didn’t blink – we would blink more before rushing to write anything, anytime.

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