On the TV news last night: interviews with kids to find out whether they know anything about cursive writing. Remember, last fall I found it on a list of disappearances? Unless a teacher has taken it on as a kind of hobby or a make-work ploy to fill in a little spare time, young people (Grades 5 to 7, maybe) don't know anything about cursive. Older ones tweet but don't write anything, not even hand-printed notes passed surreptitiously in class. Who needs them with an android in hand? Perhaps hand-writing will become an art form. Look at the evolution of candles. Rush-lights, tallow dishes, kerosene lamps, I'm not going to give a history of light. Beeswax candles were elegant but expensive. Light became information. (Marshall McLuhan pointed this out, a corollary to his medium-message statement.) Incandescent bulbs replaced gas lights, and now people are worried about LED lamps hurting their eyes or heads. Candles are decorative, imaginative, scented and expensive. So, as to cursive writing, perhaps calligraphy with beautiful paper and a variety of nibs will go more mainstream as the few who take it on as a serious art form make it an aesthetic choice.
We speak of our tools with the words that described the earlier mode: candlepower for degrees of light; fonts identifying different print forms offering virtual choices; horsepower for vehicles that do not depend on animals for their motion. And now they (you know who they are) are fooling around with 3-D printing - no, creation of - Oreo cookies? Evolution!
Tomorrow I want to talk about predictive editing. Of course, I'm not talking.