Sotto Voce.

"Qui plume a, guerre a." — Voltaire

Cap Bands

I broke the cap band on the Majestic and thought I’d use my blunder as an opportunity to explain how manufacturers used to install bands on fountain pen caps.

My production values continue to gradually improve. The better lighting and magnification are thanks to Cyclops the Lamp, and I now have a mic stand so I can use my Blue Snowball instead of my iPhone’s built-in mic. And check out my first stab at animation!


The Monsters are Due on Pennsylvania Avenue

“The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men.

“For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and the thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own — for the children, and the children yet unborn.

“And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.”

— Rod Serling


Keyboards and the Future of Computers

At Apple’s recent special event announcing its latest MacBook Pro lineup, SVP Phil Schiller introduced the new Touch Bar feature by explaining that it was designed to provide a dynamic and adaptive replacement for the row of physical function keys that has accompanied computer keyboards since the early 1970s. Why, he asked, should interface design be constrained by the legacy of a 45-year-old technology?

Yet, just to the south of the new Touch Bar on this sleek, ultra-modern device sits a nearly 145-year-old technology that continues to artificially constrain computer interface design — one that I believe is way overdue for a radical reimagining:

The physical keyboard.

You’d probably think that, as a guy who makes his living herding words, I’d be the one yelling the loudest that you can have my keyboard when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. But before I can explain why I believe the future of writing absolutely demands the disappearance of the physical keyboard, first I need to go off on a highly pedantic tangent for just a moment.
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