Sunday, December 26, 2010

The unfamiliarity of the old


7 comments:

  1. I get it. I've long bee careful about the persona I present online, having many anonymous ad hoc email accounts for any inquiries or comms that aren't in that small circle of light I want seen associated with my name.

    I love that gift from your secretary. I got a pin, which you've reminded me to post.

    As the son of a lifelong secretary I have to ask why are you doing your own typing?

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  2. heh, "QWERTUIOPY"?

    Re: our posts in databases and the insistent, everpresent indexing of our thoughts - I have to say that this has been a concern for me ever since the mid-90's, when I realized that Usenet newsgroups were being indexed and archived.

    My solution then and now is artificial identities, as in multiple "real" names, fake addresses, email aliases and phone numbers used to constantly pollute the world's databases. My contribution to the global pool of data is attributed to many aliases, the main aliases connected to an identity that is reasonably well-documented yet completely made up.

    It's something that provides a pretty good shield wall between my big blue room life and the internets. Potential employers could google my real name all day long if they want to, and never come up with the years of input I've contributed to the global data pool.

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  3. @notagain: I assume your question about doing my own typing is facetious! The model of boss dictating to typist holds no appeal for me -- typewriters are personal, private machines in my way of thinking. There are some colleagues at my university, though, who still write things longhand and then give them to our secretary to type (on the computer, naturally).

    @He Who Is Known as Ted: Your solution (and notagain's) makes sense. I have been pretty sloppy about my online identity, I'm afraid. (But no, there are no drunken pictures of me on Facebook.) -- The keyboard on the mice's typewriter is a bit offbeat, isn't it? And I wonder how it types such big, quirky characters...

    By the way, my trip to Boston was snowed out, so I may very well find myself typecasting here again before the year's out.

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  4. Agreed with all above - but can I say that KMM looks pretty good! I been hankerin' for one of these machines.

    I've been thinking that in an age of maximal connection and sharing, it's what's not shared and private that really begins to matter (or has to be protected). And/or, that a large degree of what we do put out is disinformation - aliases, handles, fake nics etc, with all the consequent social effects as well. Which can all be matched back to IP addresses anyway - for those serious about tracking behaviour etc.

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  5. Golly, shall I send you a handwritten letter, or a typewritten one? Maybe one of each!

    Yes, we know it well: old is bad, new is better. And writers who prefer to type (or write by hand) are perceived to be in the (pun intended) margins of this amnesic culture. But we continue, because- like printers who use presses and photographers that make their own gelatin-silver prints, our expression comprises the syntax of our instruments.

    I like your story about your niece's typewriter. I don't consider myself a collector, though I do wind up accumulating typewriters- and in turn give them away-- either to Tom Furrier or to anyone that wants a machine. (I have my arms full with a few Olympias and Olivettis.) But recipients must first take the Anti-Keychop Oath. I insist!

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  6. Viva la Diehards! Confuse the data collectors with scanned typewritten documents! Use aliases and false identities! Throw wrenches into the machine of the news media with our love of using archaic technology! Viva la Diehards!

    (Okay, I'm finished chanting and yelling.)

    That is great news that your neice liked the typewriter. I have a young son and two young nephews that love using my machines. It's really cool to watch their fascination.

    I'm glad you received the letter. I'm always up for writing to new/more people. It's a lot of fun, plus it's about the only way the Googlebots can't catch us these days.

    If anyone else out there needs a new penpal, I'm up for more.

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  7. Wonderful post, Richard.
    I was starting to think we were all just playing around with our antiquated toys. Turns out we're revolutionaries (anti-revolutionaries? reactionaries?)!

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