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Best of all, Wife is politically correct because she breaks a writer's "direct dependence on strip-mined coal." History teaches us that Wife can also be used to beat rugs and wash clothes by hand, thus eliminating the need for the vacuum cleaner and washing machine, two more nasty machines that threaten the act of writing. I have no quarrel with Berry because he prefers to write with pencil and paper; that is his choice.
As a writer, I work with a pencil or a pen and a piece of paper.
My wife types my work on a Royal standard typewriter bought new in 1956 and as good now as it was then.
I am familiar with their propaganda campaigns that have put computers into public schools in need of books.
That computers are expected to become as common as TV sets in "the future" does not impress me or matter to me. I do not see that computers are bringing us one step nearer to anything that does matter to me: peace, economic justice, ecological health, political honesty, family and community stability, good work. More money, for one thing, than I can afford, and more than I wish to pay to people whom I do not admire. It is well understood that technological innovation always requires the discarding of the "old model"—the "old model" in this case being not just our old Royal standard.
As she types, she sees things that are wrong and marks them with small checks in the margins.
She is my best critic because she is the one most familiar with my habitual errors and weaknesses.
I would be happy to join Berry in a protest against strip mining, but I intend to keep plugging this computer into the wall with a clear conscience. I enjoyed reading Berry's declaration of intent never to buy a personal computer in the same way that I enjoy reading about the belief systems of unfamiliar tribal cultures.
I tried to imagine a tool that would meet Berry's criteria for superiority To his old manual typewriter. It is cheaper, smaller, more energy-efficient, human-powered, easily repaired, and non-disruptive of existing relationships.
My final and perhaps mv best reason for not owning a computer is that I do not wish to fool myself.
I disbelieve, and therefore strongly resent, the assertion that I or anybody else could write better or more easily with a computer than with a pencil.