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Not everything has to be digital

September 12, 2006

WeeDram writes about Moleskine notebooks in Non-D-PDA.  So what’s great about a little notebook? 

Mokeskine’s are basically a really high-quality notebook, and they come in several different models.  They’ve been around a long time – Vincent Van Gogh used them, for example -  for people who enjoy writing down or sketching their thoughts.  A Moleskine is to a digital PDA what a slide rule is to a calculator.  And, they’re beautiful. 

I don’t use Moleskine; I’m an index cards man, myself.  Yes, I know I’m a technology guy, but there’s a tactile pleasure in attaching a thought to something simple and durable.  You take your Moleskine or your index cards, lay them on the ground and stomp on them, and they’re just about good as new.  Try that with your digital PDA.

You never have to wait for paper to boot up.  It won’t mysteriously erase itself.  Paper won’t freeze up when you’re giving a lecture.  You can rip off a piece of paper and hand it to someone. 

The sheer inefficiency of handwriting is a sort of backward advantage.  It’s slow, and a little awkward (at least for me).  So if I’m writing something down, I try to use as few words as possible.  And a blank piece of paper forces me to come up with the structure of my message, so I tend to boil it down to essentials.  Sometimes, less is a whole lot more.  Or at least a whole lot more elegant.

Yes it’s ironic to read WeeDram’s break from the relentlessly digital world on his weblog – heck, he actually takes pictures using film.  Go check it out – The Non-D-PDA

Categories: Artifacts
  1. September 12, 2006 at 21:20 | #1

    :-) I must admit that both the tactile qualities & the way the Moleskine prompts me to be efficient with my words are its primary charms for me.  Oh hell, it just LOOKS cool!  No one has (IMO) yet designed a truly elegant-loking (and feeling) PDA.

    The coolest cameras on earth are the Leica MP (or older Ms that do not have electronic shutters), the Zeiss Ikon rangefinder and soon … the Leica M8.  Yes, a Leica DIGITAL M series.  Its price tag and the prospect of divorce keep me from acquiring one.  It’s about the only thing that could get me to go all digital.

    But I’d still keep that lovely Olympus 35 SP (and it’s brother, the OM-1) just for a security blanket.

    Thanks for the write-up.

  2. September 13, 2006 at 06:50 | #2

    Learn shorthand – teeline is easiest.  Then you’ll be able to write as quickly as you type, no-one will know what you’re writing and in public people will think you’re writing Arabic.

  3. September 13, 2006 at 21:10 | #3

    I will have to investigate that.  BUT … I don’t really WANT to write faster …at least not all the time.  Slowing down helps me think.  It’s like the slow food  movement; so much is too fast these days.

  4. September 13, 2006 at 21:17 | #4

    Shorthand sounds like the coolest ability to me!  I know a couple people who can do it and I’ve always been very impressed by it.  Like having a built-in recorder that works with any piece of paper.

    Not anxious to have people thinking I write in Arabic, though. ;-)

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