Learning From Longhand and Furlongs. | Bruce Turkel

My laptop broke so I’m writing this blog post longhand.
There was an afternoon once when I was at lunch and got inspired and thumb-typed an article on my phone but this the first time I’ve ever written a post with a pen and paper. Even that wasn’t so easy because while I’ve got sketchbooks stacked everywhere, I had to search for ruled stock to write on. Plus, without the convenience of backspacing and spell check I find writing is a much less fluid process. Not to mention how much slower handwriting is when compared to typing.

The other day, Jonathan Robertson, the CEO of TG Capital, told a great story. He said a guest was staying in one of their hotels on the fifth floor in room 555. He woke up in the morning and noticed the alarm clock on the bed said “5:55.” When the newspaper was delivered he saw that the date was May Fifth. Opening the paper to the sports section, he found a horse in that day’s fifth race named Take Five. So he dressed, had breakfast, went to the track, and bet five thousand, five hundred and fifty five dollars on Take Five in the fifth.

“How’d he do?” we asked.

“The horse came in fifth” he answered.

Exactly as we should have guessed.

But just like I assumed the horse would win the race, I assumed that writing this story by hand would have inspired some different thinking then when I bang it out on my laptop. Other than a lot of cross outs and a sore left hand, however, it was pretty much the same.

My discovery was not in the words I wrote but in the result of the writing. I found that the whole process of creating these blog posts is technostic, or, technology agnostic. My brain doesn’t care how I record the information as long as I get it out of my head and onto paper. I can type, scribble, record or even capture my thoughts with whatever technology comes along next. As long as you read, enjoy, and ultimately find my words worth your time, I’m happy.

Come to think of it, the distribution of my messages is technostic as well. It doesn’t matter if I send you my blog post via e-mail, if you point your browser to https://www.turkeltalks.com, if you click on the link in Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn or if someone forwards you the message. And it doesn’t matter if you read the post on your desktop, your laptop, your netbook, your smart phone, your iPad or if you print it out on paper. What matters is that you read it.

Perhaps we should obsess less over our tech and more over our text. After all, as Nicholas Negroponte wrote more than 15 years ago in his book Being Digital, “content is king.” He was right back then and he’s right today.

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