Minding the Borderlands

Mark Koester (@markwkoester) on the art of travel and technology

Writing in the Dark, a Reflection on the Places We Scribble

I like to write…

I like to write, take notes, and present my thoughts in varying textual manners.

I use and have used various tools: the teenager’s scrawled notebooks, transitioning versions of Microsoft Word, plain built HTML, email programs, a self-backed-up-multiple-platformed EverNote, WYSISYG editors with blogs, and beyond.

All of these are essentially different ways to capture text digitally, ways of recording.

I like my tools to not hide my words…

Recently though, I’ve become somewhat obsessed with using TextMate (a popular Mac code editor) to write in Markdown, a simplistic syntax with some kind mark up for different things. It’s a bit of post-modern primitive thing.

There is nothing inherently superior about one writing tool or space or form than another. But amongst all the cluttered files we hang on to, I find a certain pleasure in the ability to have my text just as text. No mark up until I need it.

There is something nice about saving a document and seeing that it’s a mere 4k file, instead of 4meg.

I like my words to be just 4k, not 4meg.

Maybe it’s the purity of a less rough, digital transference of the letters to eventually 0’s and 1’s. I know that essentially in someone’s reading and understanding, it just a communicative act. Whether digital or scribbled, it’s the meaning lingering in the quiet of a shared-spoken mind.

In world of 6 Billion, what is the weigh of words today?

I’m young yet I realize that if I continue to write and produce words in whatever form from emails to check lists to online blog posts, there will be something digital remaining of “me” into a certain of our digital age, perhaps.

And yet. And yet how far distant can we expect so many people’s language to be carried? What of each and every single word? What of each every person’s world of words?

-Mark

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