An Ode to the Typewriter. Fearing spies, Germany thinks retro.
Ah, the good old days (I have no idea who to cite for that gem) keeps returning to our lives. Why? That is a question for many researchers, not a blogger. What I like to see is those things of our industrial and pre-industrial age return, often with a subtlety that is a direct result of what is “today.”
People are responding to fast (see Moore’s Law) technological change by not changing. Many due to the cost of having the latest I-Phone and “2 year plan with 4-G” (4-G is fourth generation, or something you pay for but do not ever have access too). Others, because they are barely getting the last “update” to work on their computer.
Ah, bought the tablet, eh? Cool thing, unless you have to do heavy duty computer use. More good stuff to buy, but what did you actually use to pay more than $20 per day to own?
How to sooth the angry mind and pass the day away in the cube farm? Or while riding on the train? Or for something to listen to while waiting for “support” (support does not only apply to computer support from India), it can be like trying to find out why your online password to your online checking account failed to work after Sunday 6am when the system performed an “UPDATE”. Listen to music. Old CD players, I-whatever, MP3 players, CD discs played in computers, radio’s (for those near a window), or even an occasional 1980’s tape player. Or even the “smart-phone” – yeah, sure those work in the tunnels.
Well, back to today, or rather yesterday. While reading an article about the level of how pissed of Germany is with their “friend”, the United States (no mention of that commie, Kenyan, heathen, Buddhist, McCarthyrite, socialist, fascist, republican) it was typewriters. An article from Germany regarding how the German government was going to (possibly) start reusing typewriters for sensitive transmissions that was of interest. And, it made special mention of electronic typewriters (see IBM Selectric III) which would not be used.
With the return of the vinyl record to prominence, so it is with the typewriter. Both do not require computers to operate or have a result. The letter has as much protection as anything written in history that is not eaten or burned. Whereas music is often used to promote social activity and therefore is preserved, often for generations. Neither requires the use of electricity, which can be picked up by observers, to function. And, the output of both can be fantastic, see 20th century literature and music from 1900 to today.
The reason for not using an electronic typewriter such as an IBM Selectric III is it has some smarts and electronics that can be “sniffed”, or some such spy term, to learn what was typed. Ribbons can be burned. Noise can be. . . and we return to the “good old days” of Spy vs. Spy.
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