Writer’s unblock

We tend to forget that most writers today are actually typers. They no longer write, but type their work on machines, mechanic or electronic. Don’t worry, I’m not being either pedantic or facetious, and I’m certainly not suggesting that only someone with a pen or quill in hand should be called a writer. I’m merelyContinue reading “Writer’s unblock”

To put your quill where your mouth is

Each one of us is an archeologist, a witness, active or passive, of the history of the material and immaterial culture around us. We don’t have to be academically-minded grave-diggers or shovel-wielding students of antiquity to exercise our archeological sense. An archeologist is someone who understands that he or she is surrounded by ghosts, andContinue reading “To put your quill where your mouth is”

Speed and writing

The history of writing is many things, but it is also a history of raising the speed bar. From stone and wood to paper and digital, writing went faster and faster. New writing technologies superseded old ones not only because they made records more permanent and reliable, but because they saved time. Parchment replaced papyrusContinue reading “Speed and writing”

Pre-print UX

Everything today is about user experience. The standard ISO definition of user experience has it as ‘a person’s perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service’. The earliest case of user experience has to do with books before the age of print. Readers’ engagement with manuscriptsContinue reading “Pre-print UX”

Erasing traces

The discovery of the concept of ‘error’ was immediately followed by the invention of ‘correction’. The history of error-correction started in Alexandria in the 3rd century BC when the concern for accurate authoritative texts went viral among scholars and people of letters. This was a particularly acute problem in a culture where texts were copiedContinue reading “Erasing traces”