Jay David (JD) Bolter (pictured above) is a a professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He wrote two articles titled “Writing in the Late age of Print” and “Writing as a Technology”, both of which had interesting points that stuck out to me.
In the first article “Writing in the Late Age of Print” Bolter starts off by saying:
“However, printing did displace handwriting, in the sense that the printed book became the move valuable form of writing.”
This line in particular stuck with me because it is something that I have seen to be true throughout my years of schooling. When I was in elementary school (as I am sure the same to be true for all of you reading), penmanship was not only taught but we got graded on learning how to write in cursive. I remember being given my first pen (erasable, but a pen none the less) after I completed my hand writing course and had cursive mastered to the level my teacher wished for it to be. From then on I remember always having to hand write every single assignment, whether it be as simple as vocabulary, or as complex as a 5 paragraph essay. As the years went on however, cursive became less and less important to the point where eventually, handwritten assignments were received with an upturned nose, if accepted at all. Honestly, if I were given a cursive test, I might fail. My cursive literally looks like a child’s sad attempt at cursive. I may or may not even make some of the letters up if I do not know what they really are supposed to be. So even though I have not written any books per say, I have still felt the affects of technology and the transition from hand writing to typing.
In Bolter’s second article, “Writing as Technology”, there was a concept when talking about the digital age that really made me stop and consider. Bolter says:
“Electronic writing may also be virtual, yet all previous writing technologies were virtual ass well, in the sense that they invited readers to participate in an abstract space of signs”.
That idea really interested me because it was something that I never thought about before. Personally, I would have never considered writing on pen and paper to be a virtual experience because my definition of virtual is, or should I say was, something that is inside cyberspace of technology somewhere. I never realized that by having an audience travel somewhere in their own mind by reading the words you write is just as virtual as typing and having the audience read those words. The concept of being virtual has nothing to do with a computer, but rather with the mind of a human being being taken away from reality and put into another time and place.
I enjoyed reading both of these articles and hope that my connections with both of them persuade you to look up the articles and make your own connections!