Chidi Williams

Chidi Williams

08/15/2022, 9:42 AM
“The top row of alphabetic keys of the standard typewriter reads QWERTY. For me this symbolizes the way in which technology can all too often serve not as a force for progress but for keeping things stuck. The QWERTY arrangement has no rational explanation, only a historical one. It was introduced in response to a problem in the early days of the typewriter: The keys used to jam. The idea was to minimize the collision problem by separating those keys that followed one another frequently … QWERTY has stayed on despite the existence of other, more “rational” systems ... Although these justifications have no rational foundation, they illustrate a process, a social process, of myth construction that allows us to build a justification for primitivity into any system. And I think that we are well on the road to doing exactly the same thing with the computer. We are in the process of digging ourselves into an anachronism by preserving practices that have no rational basis beyond their historical roots in an earlier period of technological and theoretical development.”
From “Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas” http://worrydream.com/refs/Papert%20-%20Mindstorms%201st%20ed.pdf
1:36 AM
Thinking about how swiping is what I do on my phone now, and also how Zhuyin input is actually organized on the keyboard phonetically. Not only that, but the initial part of a syllable is on the left, the final is on the right, and so it's not weird to type both parts at once. Also since this is for Chinese and the next step is picking the characters you actually want, so can, depending, skip bits, though I see that more with Pinyin input: type the first letter of each word, and you're good to go.