What’s in A Signature?

UnderwoodKeyboard Does the medium of pen and paper allow for a greater intimacy than the keyboard? Is the distance between the author and the ‘written word’ somehow smaller than that of ‘typed words?’ In a lecture course on the Pre-Socratics, Martin Heidegger poses similar questions. The late German thinker suggests that the advent of the typewriter marks a clear transition towards a kind of ‘sign-less’ writing, a writing cut off and ‘concealed.’

But have such concerns become vastly outdated? Modern technology has prompted a new set of terms, a new comparison of ‘distance:’ the ‘typed’ versus the ‘cyber.’ The New York Times recently posted a ‘running debate’ on the positive and negative aspects of ‘E-books.’ The many perspectives offered especially focus on questions concerning the ability of E-books to meet the educational ‘needs’ of the ‘human brain.’

One wonders about the repercussions of such a ‘not-even-typed’ world. Have the books on our shelves already begun to bear the romantic idealism of love letters? Have we already begun to cherish the ‘time’ our friends and families spend to write an email, for at least it’s not a text message? Might Heidegger’s concern have, in fact, intensified, rather than slipped away? To read more, see this article in The New York Times.

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One thought on “What’s in A Signature?”

  1. e-mail me if you are our Maggie.
    On your topic. I find more intimate contact via electronic means, particularly with people on e-mail. I’m can, and am willing to say MORE if I am not looking someone in the eye, simultaneously worried about finding the right words, saying them with the right intonations, and, of course, trying not to cry, or look stupid. And the back and forth comments can go on and on while we continue our lives. No “I’m thinking of you” cards. They know I am.

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