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Technology Essay

1168 words - 5 pages

Creating A Writing Technology

In reading Tribble and Trubeks’ “Writing Materials” I learned that writing is a product of historical circumstances and cultural values as well as of individual invention.(2). The reading selections enabled me to realize just how much I and many others take modern technology for granted. In the book writing itself is defined as technology, which threw me off very early in this assignment. I’d previously only thought of technology as something that uses electricity or some type of battery. I do understand that writing has been in many ways perfected by technologies such as the typewriter and computer but writing itself as a technology still seems to be a ...view middle of the document...

This I figured would only be a minor obstacle because as with the invention of all new technologies there would be a few glitches.

As I began to gather the materials that I would need I began to realize that this would not be easy. I first had to find a tree in my apartment complex that I would be able to peel the bark from. In doing so I worried whether or not I would offend anyone by peeling trees because after all these were everyone’s trees. No one seemed to mind so I continued my work. Peeling the bark off of a tree was not easy job. Every time I tried I wouldn’t get a sufficient amount of bark so I had to keep trying until I got what I wanted. I began to feel like Plato, this writing thing was ridiculous, can’t we all just have a nice conversation? But that would have been too easy. My next task was to find a tree with sap or some form of sticky stuff (which is gross on many different levels) that would make the leaves stick to the bark. After examining half the trees in the complex I finally found one that had some sort of sticky concoction that would work just fine. And yes I wore gloves and yes they were unnatural but they were safe.

Assembling the project wasn’t so bad. I did it all outside, there was no way the sticky stuff was coming into my apartment. I did have trouble when my hands were sticky keeping the leaves in place bur when I finally did everything sort of flowed at a steady pace. Because of the small amounts of bark that I was able to pry away from Mother Nature, the amount of text was also small. I found this project difficult on many levels; one level was definitely a cognitive level. Understanding writing as a technology was a little different for me because of the conveniences of the modern world today. Being born into a world with already fast moving societal conveniences it’s hard for me to imagine anything other than the modern marvels that we now use. The pencil seems hardly worth all the commotion that it caused. In Dennis Barons’ essay “From Pencils to Pixels”, he compares he pencil to the computer by stating that it too is an advanced technology. (39) Until I began this project that statement seemed a bit off the...

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