A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital - download pdf or read online

By Dennis Baron

ISBN-10: 0195388445

ISBN-13: 9780195388442

Pcs, now the writer's instrument of selection, are nonetheless blamed by way of skeptics for quite a few ills, from dashing writing as much as the purpose of recklessness, to complicating or trivializing the writing procedure, to destroying the English language itself.

</em>A greater Pencil</em> places our complicated, still-evolving hate-love dating with desktops and the web into point of view, describing how the electronic revolution impacts our interpreting and writing practices, and the way the newest applied sciences range from what got here prior to. The ebook explores our use of pcs as writing instruments in gentle of the heritage of conversation expertise, a historical past of ways we adore, worry, and really use our writing technologies--not simply desktops, but in addition typewriters, pencils, and clay capsules. Dennis Baron exhibits that just about all writing implements--and even writing itself--were greeted initially with nervousness and outrage: the printing press disrupted the "almost non secular connection" among the author and the web page; the typewriter used to be "impersonal and noisy" and might "destroy the paintings of handwriting." either pencils and desktops have been created for projects that had not anything to do with writing. Pencils, crafted via woodworkers for marking up their forums, have been speedy repurposed by way of writers and artists. the pc crunched numbers, now not phrases, till writers observed it because the subsequent writing desktop. Baron additionally explores the recent genres that the pc has introduced: e mail, the moment message, the net web page, the weblog, social-networking pages like MySpace and fb, and communally-generated texts like Wikipedia and the city Dictionary, let alone YouTube.

Here then is an interesting historical past of our tangled dealings with a variety of writing tools, from historical papyrus to the fashionable computing device. With dozens of illustrations and lots of colourful anecdotes, the publication will enthrall someone attracted to language, literacy, or writing.

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The extraordinary Spider-Man

1. To the level that you just conceal a superhero starting place tale, I’d suggest targeting issues and methods we haven’t obvious a lot of prior to. i feel it'll have helped to both spend much less time protecting the beginning tale or make it extra varied than Spider-Man 1. That stated, i presumed ASM’s method of the loss of life of Uncle Ben was once smoother and extra thematically effective–when Peter has the chance to forestall the robber, there’s a believable and quick possibility to bystanders. Peter declines and Ben will get killed seconds thereafter. This makes Peter’s motivation for a life-changing choice (becoming a superhero) extra believable. by contrast, in Spider-Man 1, Peter will get torn up simply because he doesn’t become involved in a comparatively minor scenario with a police officer current, with just a faint connection among Peter Parker letting the robber move and the robber killing a civilian.

1. 1. Peter performs a extra lively function buying superpowers. He was once basically within the laboratory simply because he stole an identification and discovered find out how to thwart a keypad. i feel the scene develops him greater than simply getting fortunate on the technological know-how reasonable in Spider-Man 1. (Likewise, he makes his personal webslingers rather than getting them from the spider-bite).

2. pay attention the fool ball – determine there are plausible results to activities. Peter Parker displayed his superpowers in public such a lot of occasions that i believe his classmates must be idiots to not discover whatever used to be amiss. (For instance, the NBA-caliber dunk? Or breaking a goalpost with a soccer? Or lifting huge, immense Flash Thompson via the neck? ) while characters make judgements, there will be outcomes. for instance, if the nature is reckless together with his powers, probably different characters come toward realizing what’s happening. Or at the very least commence asking tough questions.

3. talking of results, i assumed the crane scene used to be type of lovely. (Peter saves a building worker’s child and the development employee later pulls in favors on the climax to assist Spider-Man). It is helping construct a distinction among Spider-Man’s decidedly constrained ability and, say, the lavishly-funded Avengers or X-Men. i feel it’s additionally a extra sophisticated and powerful manner of revealing he’s extra of an everyman hero than we observed in earlier Spider-Man videos (e. g. subway passengers throwing themselves among Dr. Octopus and a crippled Spidey felt kind of hokey to me).

Additional info for A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution

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And more to the point, although Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein by hand, and Ted Kaczynski wrote his ramblings by hand as well, the impact of these two undeniably technological artifacts has been different. Frankenstein TeknoFear ■ 31 became a cultural emblem while “Industrial Society and Its Future,” the actual title of the Unabomber Manifesto, is destined to be little more than a footnote in Kaczynski’s brief reign of terror. And despite the fact that computers and other new communication technologies are dramatically changing the ways we do things with words, from the early experiments in computer-generated poetry to the emails, blogs, and instant messages that pervade our personal and professional lives, digital machines have not yet produced anything that remotely resembles Frankentext.

As it turned out, while antediluvian Luddites may have gone around smashing wheels the same way that nineteenth-century Luddites smashed looms or twentieth-century ones attacked computers, it eventually became apparent that the wheel was not going to go away, and today the wheel ranks alongside writing and the silicon chip as one of the most important human achievements of all time. As it was with the wheel, once writing came on the scene, there was no turning back. Trust in writing grew slowly, as people gradually saw how reducing Writing It Down ■ 13 The oldest known wooden wheel, discovered in the Ljubljana Marshes of Slovenia in 2002, was built more than 5,100 years ago out of two radial boards of ash wood, 72 cm.

Writing is much newer, a mere six thousand years old, give or take. In that sliver of geological time, we have gone from thinking of writing as a novelty, or something to be regarded with suspicion, to valuing it in many cases more than speech. While a few enthusiasts and visionaries surely saw the potential of a technology like writing when it consisted of just a few symbols scratched into clay or painted on a wall, it’s equally likely that some people feared and rejected this new form of communication.

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A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution by Dennis Baron


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