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The Museum of Vestigial Desire

Why did we stop writing?

tags: post-writer published on:

We stopped writing the day the page disappeared. The page is a unit of writing. We think in terms of what happens in a text in terms of succession of pages. If there are no pages, there is no sense of place. We remain lost in an expanse of text and do not actually know how to mark or index any part of it. Paragraphs can be counted, lines can be counted but reading and keeping count do not happen at the same time. We use machines to keep count and the count becomes a number, Even reading is done by the aid of machines. Machines find it easy to keep count because machines are never distracted. Distraction is a human ability and a human skill. Because of distraction we have achieved so much. We try and do something but something else gets done because we are blind to our own desire.

We stopped writing when we mistook our tongue for a weapon. Our tongues are first implements and tools for communication. Sometimes this communication can be abrasive in nature and that is alright. The abrasion does not make the tool a weapon. Tools have a code of conduct. Tools need to render a function. They also need to perform the said function reliably. Only if they are reliable and robust will they be accepted as a member of the arsenal of tools.

For a potential tool, being a member of a toolbox is an honour. It means a regularisation of purpose and intent and a commodification which is very valuable. By becoming a commodity, the longevity of function is preserved. The function even enters into the grammar of casual usership.

For a tool to enter into a format of casual usership, it is like transcending the mortality of cultural objects. Everything remains in a flux. Patterns of usership change and fluctuate. So for some things to remain constant, it has a great potential. The potential for behavioural change is immense.

Once behavioural change happens, once language becomes accepted as a tool; it will get sharp by default.

Tools get sharpened by regular use if not by determined action.

Sharp tools are more useful sometimes. The specific remains the specific and the ambiguous remains the ambiguous.

Sharp and blunt serve different niches. While sharp goes for efficiency, blunt goes for expansiveness. Along with hammers we need hugging.

Sometimes we need to be more expansive than we need to be sharp. We need pressure but we also need persuasion.

Like that time when you were not able to focus on anything. Because you were trying to concentrate. Insight is produced not by concentrating but by being elastic in the true sense.

Being elastic allows for us to not define the range of our behaviour.

The range of our behaviour contains us.

We do not want to be contained.

Being contained feels like the restraining of our wings. Our wings are fragile and tender. They do not like to be restrained. And so we want to be blunt sometimes. And we like this switching between blunt and sharp.

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