Passing of the typewriter

April 27, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Slow, but not disabled by an EMP (credit: stock image)

Sadly, one of the world’s last remaining typewriter factories, Godrej & Boyce in Mumbai, India, is closing down its typewriter production line, survived only by Moonachie, N.J.-based Swintec.

We may not know what we’ve lost. Despite its limitations, with a typewriter, you are pressed to think out the entirety of what you are trying to say in your head to avoid endless retyping (or using White-Out). And you have to seriously focus to avoid typos. This is powerful mental training.

Word processing can engender sloppy thinking, tendentious verbosity, and half-baked ideas that haven’t been thoroughly thought out, often scattered across meandering, random run-on sentences — like this one.

But more importantly, will a typewriter — and a good supply of White-Out, carbon paper, and paper — someday be an essential backup to communicate information after loss of power and destruction of electronic devices from catastrophic natural disasters, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, bio/nuclear terrorism …. or a nuclear power plant disaster?

Maybe it’s time to think about what kind of mechanical devices … or hardened (radio frequency-blocking) electronic devices and systems we need to develop that maintain what’s left of civilization in such a scenario?

Your ideas?

Amara D. Angelica is Editor of KurzweilAI