In a recent Wired article, Chris Anderson (author of Free: The Future of a Radical Price) read the internet its last rites. Yes, the very web upon which you've squandered the last decade or more tracking eBay auctions for red Royal typewriters and checking your mail has apparently joined spirit duplicator machines and telegrams in the remainder bin of old media culture as the app model rises to prominence.
"This was all inevitable," Anderson shrugs. "It is the cycle of capitalism." This is the story of technology as it's always told: a chain of formats that individually dominate and then destruct. To use or champion anything but the latest version of the latest thing earns you censure and contempt. But you and I both know that reality doesn't work like this: books and bookstores are still here. Newspapers are still here. Typewriters, pens, and paper are still here. They've coexisted with the internet since 1990, and the internet will probably stick around too. Why? Because we want it to.
"Technologies die violent deaths less often than we think," writes Alexis Madrigal of the Atlantic Monthly. "We collectively choose the world that we want, not just as consumers, but as people who have and promote ideas." In a world where technological formats dominate and destruct, and make our choices for us, he writes that there would be "no use in trying to preserve the things about our lives that we love." But we do just that, which is why you can still read print books, and find a ribbon for your typewriter, and get a new set of woodcase pencils without much fuss. It's the way we want things. So I'd hold off on playing Amazing Grace on the bagpipes for the interweb. So long as you want it around, it's probably going to be here.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Today I am reviewing the Pilot Plumix, a $7-ish fountain pen intended for calligraphy. (Thanks to Jet Pens for giving me this pen to review).
Ok, so, after a third one of these pen reviews (in the review I called it my first, although it's the third one I've posted), it's clear that I lack the critical chops to be a true pen reviewer. See the links below this post for some examples of how to write a pen review. I will add to my comments below that I rather like the faded blue ink of this pen (picky dark-ink purists won't like it but it rather reminds me of old blue jeans), and use it every day at work. It combines the fun of writing with a fountain pen with some of the practicalities of cheap pens (it's not a crisis if you lose it) and the ink flows conservatively and does not bleed through paper (which is a common feature of nicer fountain pens. The cheap ones don't seem to do this, is it me?)
This review is rather helpful about what this pen is for and how to write with it. A recommended read. As a bonus, here is a critical review of the pen, complete with a creepy doll head.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Currently I'm reviewing some pens kindly sent to me by Jetpens.com for this purpose; my previous installment was about the Mitsubishi Uniball Signo gel pen, and today I'm reviewing the Platinum Preppy fountain pen.
Before now, my experience with fountain pens has been limited to the Lamy Safari and the Pelikan Pelikano. I'll say right off that the Platinum Preppy is far cheaper than both of these, and better than one of them.
As I've already established in my prior review, do check the Office Supply Geek for a more thorough and professional assessment of this pen. He's a pro. However, if you're just looking for bad pen drawings of pens, Strikethru's your (wo)man.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
There's something about pens. You know what I mean. Hunting for the perfect one is a game that never gets old. This is why it pleased me greatly when Jet Pens sent me a few to review on Strikethru. But why should I have all the fun? I am going to post the reviews one at a time, and then when I'm done, have a giveaway of a couple pens. 'Cause it's good to get pens in the mail.
I'm going to start out with the Uni-ball Signo DX. It's a micro-tipped gel pen that comes in a mess o'colors. But first let me stop right here if you're in the mood for a comprehensive review from a legitimate source, and point you Office Supply Geek. Because let's face it, my reviews are generally just excuses to write with pens. But that said, here's mine (I may have referred to this pen as a roller-ball in the scrawls below, when it is actually considered a gel pen. It may be both. Sadly I dropped out of Pen U before earning my PhD in pen taxonomy):