Technology seems to change faster than most can keep pace with. Even simple tasks like writing letters has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Twenty years ago, the postal system was the most common way for people to communicate through writing. Now people use e-mail, allowing them to communicate with anyone in the world at the click of a mouse. Other activities associated with writing have also made a shift to computers, condemning devices like the typewriter and the pencil to relative obscurity.
The fact that technology is always changing and that things that were once thought of as conveniences can quickly become outdated became my inspiration for this assignment. One can think of past technologies like the typewriter as being left behind to wither and die.
The completion of the project reinforced my belief that writing technology, like all technology, has a life span. Even the high-end computer technology we have today that enables people to write, edit and publish almost anything from almost anywhere, will someday be replaced by faster, higher quality gadgets. Another aspect of the relationship between writing and technology that the project exposed me to is best expressed by Dennis Baron’s statement about why writing was invented. In his essay called "From Pencils to Pixels" Dennis Baron said, "Writing itself begins not as speech transcription but as a relatively restricted and obscure record-keeping shorthand," I agree with Baron’s statement because I believe that writing came before any real form of developed speech.
While I was carving the letters into my watermelon, I began to think of all the different surfaces that people must have used to write on before paper was invented. I think that cavemen, for example, used to write with figures instead of words on the walls of their caves because they lacked a developed form of speech. Probably not every figure on any given cave wall has substantial meaning. But I think that cavemen must...