Masthead CMC Magazine October 1, 1995 / Page 13


Word Processing and the Fragmentation of Thought

From The Future Does Not Compute, page 187:

"This working from the part to the whole substitutes for a sustained and intense thinking that grasps the whole before struggling to articulate it in a particular manner. I try to build a whole from parts rather than allow the parts to be determined by the whole. But this is precisely to give the already achieved and incompletely vested word veto power over my thinking.

"Often, for example, I will type the first phrase of my next sentence without having any idea how that sentence will end--or even what it will say. Clear, then, this opening phrase is determined more by the `natural flow' of the preceding words than by the integral requirements of my current thinking--which I haven't thought yet! And now what I will think is substantially constrained by the words I have already written...this domination of the word and fragmentation of my thinking--to one degree or another inescapable with or without a computer--is exactly what I need to work against if I would realize thinking's highest potential."
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