Writing as Technology begins by exploring the time period that the mechanization of writing began; the 15th Century. Writing became a technology when the 1st text processor, or better known as the Letter Press, was invented to duplicate words in mass. It seems that no matter the time period, technology assists with the spreading of messages in bulk or to a wide range of people. With time, this quality of technology becomes faster and more efficient. This is evident as the article goes on to discuss how the invention of typography lead to the 1st uniformly repeatable commodity and other forms of technology used for mass production.
Writing technologies have evolved from older writing techniques. With all the new technology innovations, society has created a timeline of print that gradually advances to the most updated form of writing which is now electronically or with a computer. Although writing has just recently been introduced to the medium of the digital world it has always been a type of technology. As stated in the article, “The Greek root of ‘technology is techne, and for the Greeks a techne could be an art or craft”. Writing could easily fit into this view of the definition of technology as it definitely is a form of art that one must have skill to develop. Ancient technologies involve a skilled craftsman with a technical state of mind in using tools and materials, similar to modern technologies. Both ancient and modern writing technologies are ways people are able to express their thoughts in a visual space, but due to technology innovations over the years, that visual space looks completely different. The computer has transformed the visual space of writing. Computers offer various improvements and advancements to writing compared to the old classic industrial machine. These advancements have changed our views on previous writing techniques as technology.
When we think back to writing in manuscript or some other dated method, we admire it as a historical piece of art. We tend not to think of manuscripts as technology because of the material used to make it. However, this is an improper way to view the technology of writing because according to Bolter, “It is not the complexity of the devices that matters so much as the technical or literate frame of mind”. Writing technologies are not physical, external agents that affect the mind of the writer but writing is like a natural virtue that is made whole through the use of physical materials and human practice. This is not to say that writing material does not matter, as that is not the case. Though the material conditions of writing do not determine how someone will read or write their texts, it does influence our culture. Our literate culture today utilizes the new innovations of digital technology to reconfigure the relationship between the material usage of writing and the ideal of writing that this usage conveys. The material used for writing is a direct reflection of our cultural advances and our style of writing. Material techniques as well as cultural dimensions make up writing technology. As expressed earlier, writing technology is a form of art which is an expression of human creative skill and imagination that can be influenced by cultural factors such as social and political practices.
The iPad, iPhone, MacBook’s, etc., are all writing material of our culture in today’s times. They are highly advanced refashions of previous writing devices. Because of the constant rebirths of writing technology throughout the years and various cultural changes, remediation occurs. Since the most recent writing technology imitates major features from older technologies plus provides as expansion of new features that appeal more to our culture of hypermediacy, it is the most dominant technology and is reshaping the entire economy of writing. In terms of remediation, authors and theorist should focus more on their preference of writing style and artistic value when determining their favorite writing technology. Remediation may lead many to believe digital writing is the best technique, but it is only a preference based on other factors.