[NTLK] Speech recognition.

James Fraser wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 3 19:14:58 EDT 2012


>Ditto.  Every time I use my Newton -- and that's a lot of times each day --
>I get this little frisson of pleasure and amazement.  I love to have a pen
>or brush in my hand, my thoughts just flow more easily, and a stylus is only
>a minor variation from that. I suppose it's the calligrapher in me
>recognizing the modality or something.

It would be interesting to know if someone has taken an MRI of the human brain 
during the acts of text input via handwriting, typing, and speech recognition, 
respectively.  I can't claim to understand all that much about the brain (though 
I do hope to own one someday), but I suspect that the different modalities (i.e. 
"the different channels through which signs are transmitted," if I understand 
the term correctly[?]) engage the human brain in different ways.

I wonder if handwriting in general (and calligraphy in particular) activates the 
pleasure centers of the brain in ways that the acts of speaking and typing do 
not?  There's something about holding a well-balanced pen (or stylus) that can 
give the wielder great joy, as though the pen disappears completely as a tool 
and becomes, instead, an natural extension of the body.  I expect a brush might 
be even more pleasurable in that it is even more "organic" an instrument than a 

I also have to wonder if listening to the sound of your own voice during 
dictation has a tendency to take you out of your thoughts, so to, um, speak.  
Speaking for myself (sorry), I prefer to work in monastic silence (or as near as 
I can get) and I'm afraid that I would find the sound of my own voice 
distracting if I were to switch to speech recognition.

(Admittedly, I have the sort of voice that evokes Forrest Gump far more than 
James Earl Jones; I expect that doesn't help matters.)


James Fraser

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