At its heart, Blockwriter is a crippled text editor. What makes it like a typewriter is that it regards every character you type into it as basically ‘committed’ and permanent. Rather than allowing the flexibility of cost-free deletions and insertions — and the attendant temptation to continually massage text beyond usefulness — this application only allows you to continue typing forward.
To remove a word you’ve already committed, you can use the back button to actually strike-out text — with x’s, dashes or any character you’d like. It’s as simple as it was on a manual typewriter: you’re just ‘physically’ creating a second character impression over an existing one.
This makes for a messy presentation, but I think it’s that messiness that will discourage people from wasting time on refinements and will encourage them to move on to the next idea.
What could be less conducive to thought’s cadences than stopping every time your short-term memory fills to pass those large-scale musical phrases through your fingers, one tedious letter at a time? You’d be hard-pressed to invent a greater barrier to cognitive flow. The 130-year-old qwerty keyboard may even have been designed to slow fingers and prevent key jamming. We compose on keys the way dogs walk on two legs. However good we get, the act will always be a little freakish.
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