On Sat, 13 Aug 2005 16:24:13 -0400, Peter T. Daniels
<grammatim@...> wrote:

> It looks like you're the one trying to impose your computer-centered
> literacy on others!

I dare say that computer-centered literacy is simple common sense. While I
like and respect calligraphy, I think that for most use, computers are far
better than other alternatives. As to cost, the USA discards lots of good,
high-performance, year-old machines because they need only a software and
data "housecleaning". We also discard oodles more good, but older
machines. India is working on $100 USD equiv. computers.

However, nearly all people who use computers, it seems to me, don't know
nearly enough of the essentials and basics. Try "Bcc:", for one. I cringe
when I hear of massive confusion about which is the backslash. (MBTA
permanent, and costly, porcelain-enamel light-rail station signs:
"HYNES\ICA" AND "CHARLES\MGH". They were eventually replaced. )

> One of the world's leading Indo-Europeanists, Eric Hamp, does not use a
> typewriter, let alone a computer, and his bibliography may well be the
> most extensive of any scholar in history.

I'm beginning to think that in today's society, some exceptional
intellectuals (not all, by any means!) stay away from computers if they

> (He does not eschew computers, but he has others use them for him.)

Not knowing more, that seems really silly, almost as silly as avoiding the
use of paper. Being a scholar does not prevent one from being silly.

> It looks like you're the one trying to impose your computer-centered
> literacy on others!

I think it probable that one could find a comment in that vein around,
say, 1895 or so, when typewriters were still gaining acceptance.

As to Suzanne's "imposing literacy", good grief! My recollection is that
she did nothing that could be construed as "imposing". Furthermore, I
think she honestly reported the situation.

It seems that there might be a very few subscribers to Qalam who
apparently have a great dislike for computers (but, WHY?), and, if there
were sensible alternatives, would avoid using them.

In the long run, computers will become easier to use, I surely hope. The
field is very short of visionaries like Alan Kay and the late Jef Raskin.
As I see it, having only a modest knowledge of the technical history of
cars, computers at present seem to me to be where cars were around 1910,
maybe. (Always looking for a better date...)


Nicholas Bodley /*|*\ Waltham, Mass. (Not "MA")
The curious hermit -- autodidact and polymath
Hope for these times: Paul Rogat Loeb's book --
"The Impossible Will Take a Little While:..."