iPad Typewriter

Whereas the tra­di­tional type­writer of­fered free­dom at the cost of de­sign, the bil­lion­aire’s type­writer of­fers con­ve­nience at the cost of freedom.

This quote is from Matthew Butterick’s Billionaire’s Typewriter (via ma.tt), a response to Death to Typewriters. The billionaire’s typewriter refers to Medium and other closed platforms such as Twitter and iBooks.

His post made me recall an article from this week: Email is not to big to fail (via Brendan Nelson). Email is often maligned, and it’s death has been called for many times. However, the alternatives offered are generally a step back in terms of freedom and convenience. Especially when one considers email’s support on pretty much every device and platform.

On the internet freedom is not something we need to trade for convenience. The underpinnings of the technology can support both.

By the way, Dave Winer’s MyWord Editor, which is radically silo-free, is a great example of what is possible in terms of freedom and convenience.

iPad Typewriter photo from Wired

One thought on “Convenience vs Freedom

  1. I think the question of convenience versus freedom extends to the nature of technology on a whole. It’s a common philosophical viewpoint: as interconnectivity becomes more and more standard so it transcends luxury and delves more into the realm of the expected. E-mail used to be a consumer luxury; now it’s an industry standard when it comes to communicating with customers.

    –Emil Isanov, Etech 7, Inc.

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