Wishing for a shotgun

by | Sep 22, 2015 | Uncategorized | 15 comments


  1. Ted

    Hmmn, most municipalities tend to regard discharging a firearm in public spaces with disapproval. Perhaps a better solution would be a boosted RF jammer, although many autonomous drones these days will just default to a holding pattern if they lose GPS lock. In such a case, a high-pressure firehose can work wonders on those little 4-point chopper types. They are rarely weatherproofed. :D

  2. Anonymous

    Speaking from experience, destroying the object of one's ire is most satisfying when one uses a shotgun of the same vintage as their writing instrument. Early-mid 20th century shotguns are readily available used for small cash, provided they are not considered collectible such as Winchester.

    Agent T.W. Lee sends…

  3. Robert Messenger

    This might well have been "the first shot fired in the revolution" and most certainly a "shot heard around the world". So in a way I'm sorry you didn't have a shotgun to hand. My own major shot at the digital age came some years ago when in intense frustration I experienced the enormous satisfaction of kicking a computer printer to death. A relatively small cost to pay for vending my spleen, because unlike a typewriter, the printer refused to do what I wanted it to do. So it died.

  4. Miguel Chávez

    I for one think that both types of technology (analog and digital) can coexist and that one does not automatically negates the other. I agree that using a typewriter is a refreshing experience when you work with computers on a daily basis (like I do), and even though I would personally not let a computer "know" so much about me, let alone intrude so much in my day-to-day "operation", I can't help but marvel at the current state of IT development. And here's where I draw a distinction between mere technology and "Information Technologies": IT is the meddling part of technological development, the one that causes qualms to so many of us, analog-timers. BUT in the right context that same technology can really make a lot of processes easier, thus freeing more time for us humans to enjoy the things that matter to us – typewriters included.

    So yes, I'm a bit ambiguous in my opinions towards IT. Drones, on the other hand, are not information processing technologies; at most they are information gatherers (of the privacy-invading kind, I might add). So far they have few useful uses and are more an annoying toy for rich kids (and immature adults); but then again, the same was said about the automobile some 100 years ago. And I'm sure it was also true for typewriters when Mr. Sholes first presented his contraption.

    So, as long as digital technology makes my life easier and frees time for me to enjoy my analog pastimes, I'm willing to give it a go, with limitations and under very specific circumstances. If that makes me a luddite or a technology-hating Neanderthal, so be it.

  5. Richard P

    Although helicopters are not information technology, I consider today's little drones to be a form of IT because they are controlled by digital technology and their main purpose is to gather digital photos and video.

    They do have their legitimate uses, and I bet they are lots of fun to fly. But having one humming over my head, taking pictures of me while I couldn't see its operator, was downright creepy. It is the most visible form of a usually invisible surveillance system that is very digital.

  6. Ms Baroque

    I love the internet; it made my whole writing career possible and my blog has been the one single thing that changed my life the most. I work partly in social media marketing, and have a big Facebook problem. Having said which, I also love my typewriters; & I hate kitchen gadgets, I don't have a car, and I'm *totally* with you on the drones and the surveillance! I found this post strangely moving and really want to know a lot more about Elmer Brown.

  7. Anonymous

    We were so eager to invent new things that we didn't even think about the legal consequences. Even IF you can make an all-listening computer that will do stuff, there won't be any use unless it's commercially viable. There are folks out there today who still don't own a personal computer or use the internet. That might change within a generation, but even in the continental US, there are places where nature has made it nigh impossible to use that kind of tech.

  8. Richard P

    Thanks. Strangely moving is my ideal!

    There is quite a bit on Wikipedia about the ITU and Elmer Brown.

  9. theshytypospherian

    Wonderful post Richard as always! I view technology as a dead thing–an appliance that has no moral or motive. It is "the operator", as you well said, that causes me alarm. As to the Publishers Weekly review, a quote from Gavin Rossdale: "For some critics we might be uncool on account of our popularity". Kind regards,

  10. gee

    Richard: When you mentioned an advance review of your book… I just couldn't wait to read it myself… I placed a pre-order thru Amazon.

  11. Mark

    If Amazon uses drones to deliver things, and they have the guts to fly over rural areas, there will be a new form of piracy surely. I hope it will be legal to shoot these things if they fly over private property… I'd like to bag one just for the fun of it. I have shot a lot of things with my 12 ga but never a robot…

  12. Rudra

    This shows how technology will make our brain, our thinking capability, our ability to grasp, analyze, reason, deduce and reach our own logical conclusions, blunt and the human brain would be just morph into a redundant organ of the human body. Well, of course, this if far fetched scenario as of now, but the way technology is evolving, it is therefore not totally unreasonable to assume, that sometimes in near or far off future, the technology will reach frightening levels of intelligence, where it would be able to replicate itself, to reproduce, to learn from "experience" and hence evolve. Would that mean the end of human race as the superior race on the Planet? Would the human race, most of whom have lost the ability to use their "now defunct" brain be just like zombie slaves working for their machine masters? All this sounds like cheap thrill science fiction but on the other hand, a piece of electronic device telling spouse to say sorry and send flowers after an argument? Where the hell is the human civilization headed?

  13. Rudra

    Senor Miguel,

    I could not agree more! Technology should be treated as it was intended to be i.e. as a useful tool to make things easier. No doubt, without the digital technology, a lot of positive things may have not have happened, like the Internet and its useful offspring like this wonderful community of Typographers, Youtube, Social Media (to a certain extent) and the wealth of information, which no physical library in the world can compete and this is does not go against, in anyway, against brick and mortar libraries which are a quiet places of study and research away from the hustle-bustle and continued distraction at home. I have met a lot of wonderful people on the social media and have learned new skills watching videos made and shared by those thousands of people, who took joy and pride and teaching other interested people for free. This happened only due to the internet technology. Here is the link to news article, that shows how digital media came to save a typist.

    Kumar barely earns Rs 50 a day by typing in Hindi on his old typewriter.

    On Saturday morning, the 65-year-old typist was abused and kicked by the sub-inspector Pradeep Kumar for protesting against his demands.

    He also broke the typewriter into pieces snatching away the only livelihood prospect for Krishna Kumar.


    This became a national news, thanks to the people who took photographs from their iPhone/Samsung phones and posted the pictures on the social media leading to an outcry and forcing administration to suspend the bully cop and present the victim with a new set of typewriters.

    Till the 20th century secret services were the tools of the bourgeoisie and the ruling class to keep a tab on the masses and now in the 21st it is the technology. We need to take technology back and hand it over back to the masses.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


typewriter revolutionary factory logo




Dept. of Philosophy
Xavier University
3800 Victory Pkwy.
Cincinnati, OH. 45207