Sunday, July 28, 2002

This words and waste question unfurls a deeper question about the fundamental nature of words in a digital age. How do words themselves, and our relationship with them, evolve with new technology? For centuries, scrawlings on paper have represented words as a steady medium. Only in the last few years have printed representations of words become a new life form--a form that instantly appears as a byte on a screen, a flash of light, and can evaporate every bit as instantly with the stroke of a key. (Remember the old typewriters, with the arms that would leap up to slather a letter onto a page? WordPerfect makes it look like a quill and ink.)

The question is, what does that do to words and how we see them and interact with them? This article from the Tribune late last year is a good, but very limited start:


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