Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Cut, Copy, and Paste
This article was fascinating in that it created a parallel between the most rudimentary of prehistoric stone tools with modern, advanced editing technology. As our ancestors used the stone tools to gather and prepare their food, we similarly use cut, copy, and paste to "gather alphanumeric data and to process words numbers, images, and sounds" (49). These three concepts of cutting, copying, and pasting all can be considered as the basis on which computer programming and word processing is based upon. Just as the people of our past have used stone tools to alter the "natural environment", we use these digital tools to modify and manipulate our own "information environment". I also found interesting the correlation made between cut, copy, and paste and arithmetic operations. These ideas made me realize how much of a central role the three commands have both in history and technology. Digital tools I once only saw as something strictly associated with Microsoft Word, I now see can be applied to many other things both in the natural and digital worlds. Another point that stood out to me was that these editing functions have given rise to new standards of perfection. I find this completely true given that features such as spell check and other writing aids can be used when typing papers. Not only do we strive for perfection in our texts but also in our photos. Digital photography possesses a very crisp and clear quality that film photography lacks. We have software such as Adobe Photoshop to create the perfect picture. One last point that I found engaging was the dual types of freedom that hyper text offers: "the freedom of multidimensionality experienced by the reader and the freedom experienced by the writer working in an infinitely rearrangeable medium" (51). The tools cut, copy, and paste give both the reader and writer a certain power. The reader is opened up to a myriad of information. The writer has the power to manufacture information free from the boundaries and limitations of pencil and paper.