Stuart Jeffries has a piece on The Guardian:
its cheerless remit. "I am not a number," he declared in The Prisoner, "I am a
free man." But increasingly we are numbers – digitised and quantified, rewritten
as algorithms and asked for our personal codes to confirm who we are before call
centre workers will deign to bandy words with us. As if to prove the point, from
this morning anyone with a chip and pin card will be obliged to use their pin
number and not their signature when making a purchase. It seems odd that the
powers-that-be have used Valentine’s Day as the deadline for their unromantic
automatisation project. Who, after all, writes poetry about pin cards? Let’s
have a go. "Roses are red, violets are blue, my pin number is 3, 5, 4, 2" (It
isn’t, incidentally. I’m not that daft).
Rather than sinuous penmanship,
our identities are increasingly confirmed by numbered sequences that have been
imposed on us. And, if signatures are becoming increasingly irrelevant, what
then is the future for handwriting in a world when (according to a new Lloyds
TSB Insurance survey) one in three children has a computer in the bedroom, many
more are accustomed to writing on them at home and school and, if I had a penny
for every time I have heard or read parents and teachers bemoaning the poor
state of pupil’s handwriting, I would have enough for a £335 Mont Blanc
Meisterstück fountain pen in precious resin with a gold-plated finish?"
Image: "Fernando Pessoa Quotes"
By thisisyourbrainonlithium @ Moleskinerie/FLICKR
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