[NTLK] Speech recognition.

James Fraser wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 4 10:03:36 EDT 2012


>I would suspect that it would be hard to generalize on these things, as
>people are different, and upbringing would play a huge role as well. My own
>children started learning typing at ate 6, and could type proficiently
>before they were 8, and with the exception of our lefty, their handwriting
>is as bad, if not worse than mine, as they never write. 

Right, someone who doesn't use handwriting regularly isn't likely to find it a 
very pleasurable experience (or, alternately, someone who finds handwriting a 
chore isn't likely to want to handwrite things, given a choice in the matter).

I suppose it could form a feedback loop of sorts: someone's handwriting is poor, 
so they elect to use a keyboard as their primary method of text input (or 
"primary modality," if you prefer [and assuming I'm using the word "modality" 
correctly]).  Result: their handwriting gets even worse as a consequence of 
their lack of practice, making them still more reluctant to handwrite text and 
reinforcing their strong preference for a keyboard whenever they want to record 
or convey information.

I can identify strongly with that. :)

>They grew up only knowing keyboard input, and are excellent writers, expressing 
>quite eloquently. They are not unique.

Yes, I don't doubt that people can express themselves eloquently using a 

What I was trying to get at in my previous post is that the feedback offered by 
handwriting might be fundamentally different than that offered by keyboarding 
(or speech recognition).  By "fundamentally different," I mean different in a 
physiological sense.  That is, wielding a pen (or a calligraphy brush) might 
affect the wielder's body and mind in a way that their using a keyboard for the 
task of creating text would not.

I guess I'm thinking of this in a "TV vs. reading" sort of way.  If I understand 
correctly, television images do not go through the relatively complex symbolic 
transformation that printed material does.  This means that, when you're 
watching TV, your mind does not have to work hard to decode input and manipulate 
the information during the experience: it "takes it all in" with a minimum of 

As a result, people who watch large amounts of television purportedly have 
brains that are developed differently than those who spend the majority of their 
time amongst print media (in my own case, mostly because I can't work out how to 
operate the television).

I suppose I'm getting carried away about all this because LG's earlier comment 
about calligraphy:

>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.

...resonated with me to an unusual degree.  Probably because I had recently read 
about Isoroku Yamamoto and how he continued to practice calligraphy throughout 
his military career, despite the fact that calligraphy wasn't in keeping with 
the "tough guy" culture of his contemporaries.

Admittedly, calligraphy was an important part of Yamamoto's culture growing up 
in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century (that "upbringing" you mentioned 
earlier).  Still, it got me to thinking about the allure that things like 
handwriting and calligraphy might still hold for people living in the keyboard- 
(and now, I suppose, speech recognition) dominated twenty-first century.


James Fraser

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