Thursday, August 02, 2018


I am in Denver visiting my wife's family and while I learned that Denver Schools have abandoned cursive, our great niece is studying it at home on her iPad. Is that enough? It would be a shame for American children to neither read nor write cursive. To put one's thoughts cleanly and efficiently on a page of paper is an admirable thing.

In keyboarding you can type mindlessly and then go back and salvage something from what you've written. The same is not the case when you take a pen, dip it in ink and proceed to inform paper of your thoughts. The thoughts must actually come first, meaning that you have chosen in advance what to say, how to say it, and whether or not it is actually worth saying. In keyboarding, its the speed and accuracy that counts, not the meaning or the expression of humanity.

Woodworking philosopher David Pye considered writing with ink on paper to be an expression of craftsmanship of risk, in that you will certainly mess up if you've not practiced, or if you are not giving full attention to the process at hand. This contrasts with craftsmanship of certainty in which machines and devices provide perfect results despite the lack of skill, vision, creative insight of the operator.

Perhaps human beings  in general have become machine operators rather than what we once were. But I can understand why cursive has been abandoned in schools. As adults we rarely use it. Is that a good thing? Or we be more thoughtful if we practiced?

Make, fix, and create...

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