Humans are Analog

‘As humans, we perceive the world in analog.  Everything we see and hear is a continuous transmission of information to our senses.  This continuous stream is what defines analog data.  Digital information, on the other hand, estimates analog data using only ones and zeros. ‘

‘For example, a turntable (or record player) is an analog device, while a CD player is digital.  This is because a turntable reads bumps and grooves form a record as a continuous signal, while a CD player only reads a series of ones and zeros.  Likewise, a VCR is an analog device, while a DVD player is digital.  A VCR reads audio and video  from a tape as a continuous stream of information, while a DVD player just reads ones and zeros from a disc.’


‘Since digital devices read only ones and zeros, they can only approximate an audio or video signal.  This means analog data is actually more accurate than digital data…’       Tech Terms

The other evening I watched the movie, ‘California Typewriter’, directed by Doug Nichol.

This fascinating movie documented the near extinction of the typewriter and the struggles of one of the last typewriter repair shops.

The film covered many collectors of typewriters, including the actor, Tom Hanks, and their love for the tactile process and, human process, of pushing a typewriter key and the subsequent letter striking a piece of paper and leaving the ink printed equivalent.


The singer and songwriter, John Mayer, spoke of his pleasure in being able to see all of the derivations and mistakes on his typewritten page of a new song that he was writing.

He went on to discuss computer’s word-processing habit of constant, automatic editing, that masks and loses the human history of the composition of the lyrics.

The author, David McCullough, a two time Pulitzer Prize winner, who is 85 years old, has written all of his books on a Royal manual typewriter.

Jonathon has been telling me for some time that vinyl records have a better sound than CD’s.  Now I know why.


In our frantic rush to become faster and digitally savvy and to have not only all office and bank and school and business records and office processes on-line…we have lost quite a lot from our cursive hand written thank you notes and our, physical, paper and card files.

Think, for a moment, we are currently worried, with good reason, regarding our up-coming mid-term elections.  We know that Russia successfully hacked the DNC’s computers, in the last election, and evidence shows that they have already begun in preparation for the November vote.  If we still had paper ballots, through out the country, there would be little to worry about.

When I began at SIU in Building Services, I noticed the card files that each full time employee and student employee were on.  Each staff member had their own card and on that card was kept; the date that you began at Building Services and each promotion that you received as well as transfers that you made to different departments on campus.  The cards were even re-filed into a former employee file, when you retired or resigned or died.  Many of them were yellow with age and contained the hand writing of several different foreman and custodial supervisors and superintendents.

The Building Services cards…were history.


I enjoyed perusing library cards in books that I checked out.  Many contained notations of the book being checked out in the 1940’s and earlier.


We kept files, prior to computers, in our office, on members of our staff that included evaluations and letters of commendation and they were a written history of their career.

Cursive is no longer taught in school.  Did you know that?  I was shocked when I first found out!

When a millennial person is given a letter or a document that is written in cursive…they can not read it.

How do they sign their name…perhaps in block print?

From the cuneiform of ancient Mesopotamia, and Persia…to recent times…the history of a tribe….a culture…a people…was available in a physical…a analog form…to study and learn from.

President Trump understands the power of the presidential, cursive, signature…he displays it each time he signs a presidential executive order.

Autographs or cursive signatures of famous individuals…are valuable and have the power of the realization that the admired person signed their name…with their own flesh and bone and blood hand!

Time has a way of erasing so many valuable memories.

Was there an Atlantis?


If so…were the records of their people and their culture and their, magnificent human accomplishments, obliterated due to their technology being destroyed?

Let us say that the Earth sustains a atmospheric event that knocks out electricity on our planet…

Everything from your paycheck, and mine, to all of your, what used to be physical records kept in a file cabinet, to the records of your marriage and your mortgage and your insurance and your due date for your book that you checked out of the library and your education….is inaccessible and thus for practical purposes…did not happen.

David McCullough said in the movie, ‘American Typewriter’, that it seems that our culture wants to continue to move at a faster pace and that writing with a manual Royal typewriter…was to slow.  He said that if anything was true, for him, he wanted to slow down more.

Perhaps through our manic race to be continually faster…and accurate…and our obsession in educating our children, from the womb, and yet not valuing teaching them how to write cursive, is a sign of a declining civilization and devaluing of the human experience?

I have been contributing to my blog for several years.  I hope that it can be accessed by my boys…after I am gone?

I think that I will look for a typewriter!








7 responses

  1. I used to buy and repair my equipment at Capitol Typewriter 😊

    1. I was so happy to learn to type in Mr. Shin’s typing class at SIU. 😉

      1. No class for me — two pages a day on the old portable at the kitchen table. My mother was right, though — that was one skill which came in handy all life long. Until about three years ago — since then every creation and communication have been pecked by yours foolie with one thumb on a tiny touchscreen “keyboard”. No more 110 wpm for me! 😋

  2. You brought out some very good points that the millenials will never enjoy. The humble typewriter is truly extinct compared to a computer and printer. I remember when very little I could hear my dad typing on his typewriter. I was silly not to keep it, an Olivetti, manual typewriter.
    Vinyl records have good sound quality and my friends keep a good collection of vinyl as they swear by it…I went from CD to VCD to ipods and now external hard disks that even my smart car has a port for it. I love this post BJ. Thanks😊

    1. My pleasure, my friend. 😉

  3. You have touched on quite a powerful thing. I worked as a Driver License Examiner for about two years. The teens coming in for their first permits or licenses couldn’t sign their own names. Their “signatures” looked like 1st graders. And, you are correct. They could not read cursive. Look at letter ‘S’. It looks very different in cursive.

    One thing I DON’T miss about typewriters is triplicate form submission with carbon paper…and the subsequent use of liquid paper. OY. There was always a mistake and you would have to correct it & reset the paper on the cylinder. And, liquid paper STINKS.

    And, regarding Atlantis…yes, it existed. No, it wasn’t destroyed because of war. We had to destroy it (‘we’ meaning us, as the human collective) because of a terrible accident with bacteria that had the potential to destroy ALL life on this planet. And, regarding Atlantis’ technology, it’s not what you would think. We weren’t ‘technologically advanced’ in the same way we are now. Everything we have in advancement, now, is external to us. In Atlantis, WE were advanced…psychic, telepathic, telekinetic, clairvoyant…we were complete humans with ALL of our souls in our bodies. We didn’t “have tools” like we do now. We “were” the tools. I maintain a page on my blog of the Chris Thomas material…a Psychic Healer & Akashic Reader. He wrote eight books on the true human condition & three healing books. Plus, 34 essays, 11 interviews, one video interview & one DVD.

    FYI…your photo from Ryan Holloway isn’t a typewriter or typewriter keys. That is a photo of piano hammers. I’ve repaired several pianos, before.

    Thank you for posting. And, I agree about vinyl records. Digital will NEVER capture the rich texture of analog. Digital has no soul.

    Cheers! 💕

    1. Thank you for you insightful comments. 🌞

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