Olympian brainstorm no. 1: meaning as friction

by | Jun 27, 2012 | Olympia | 9 comments

Why did I pack an Olympia SF and a MacBook Pro to bring to a dance competition in Tennessee, where my daughter is performing in five numbers? So that at idle moments I could take the time to reflect via typewriter, and share the results with the typosphere. (I’ve also typed up a couple of Insurgency cards, for those special occasions.) Here’s the first brainstorm, for whatever it’s worth; the next will come online in a couple of days.


  1. Ton S.

    Something to think about, for sure.
    The Olympia SF seems to be a good travel typewriter, is it as light as a Hermes Baby or perhaps a bit heavier?

  2. Richard P

    A bit heavier, I'd say, but I much prefer its feel to that of the Baby. Others would vote differently.

  3. Ton S.

    Thanks for the info. I'm not a fan of the feel of the Hermes Baby either.

  4. Anonymous

    That's an interesting insight. Communication is an interesting thing.

    I've often had people, when engaged in some discourse or debate, appeal to a dictionary. Such people are usually unaware of the distinction between addressing a thing de re, and addressing a thing de dicto. Most people seem to think that a dictionary defines the true nature of a thing, when all it does is offer us the many ways in which a term is conventionally used. But a dictionary can speak to neither the telos nor the ontology of a thing in itself. (Of course, I'm not suggesting a dictionary can't give us insight into how a term is or was used, or how it is or was understood. It can indeed tell us how people use a term, but it can't tell us if their understanding of the thing to which the term references is correct.)

    In any case, I find people often speak past past one another because of a failure to precisely define terms. It doesn't matter whether people use an old or a new definition of a term, as long as they're being clear about which definition they're employing. Without such clarity of understanding, communication becomes difficult if not impossible.

    And that Olympia is cool, too! ;-)

  5. Dwayne F.

    That SF is identical to my older daughters'. It is a fun machine to work on with all of those precision German parts under the hood.

    Words and evolving languages are interesting. We just got back from a performance of Midsummer Night's Dream. Viewing a Shakespeare play is a great reminder that petrified languages are no fun.

  6. Anonymous

    LOL — funny thing is, if you can actually understand what's being said, the writing is quite witty.

  7. Rob Bowker

    I think the near impossibility of understanding can be joy too. You get it a lot with a humourous retort. Not always knowing whether the under person knew what I meant by what I said.

  8. Matt

    Actually, I think that the Olympia above is a Splendid! I think that the SF was actually created to replace the Splendid Series, and I've seen some Splendids without 33, 66, or 99 badges.

  9. Richard P

    Thanks, Matt. You may be right, or maybe Splendid is just a name for a certain kind of SF. I don't have information on this other than tw-db.com.


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