So I got a new toy. I am using it to write to you. This toy is very important to me because it marks, what I hope to be, a new phase in technology - a phase that might actually get this Luddite's buy in.
Yes, technology has made life easier. This I do not argue. It does things more quickly and often better. I benefit in many ways because of it. But in many ways life is also uglier because of it. When I see a computer in someone's office, I see awkward black objects strung together with black cables that is often at odds with the rest of the feel of the room not unlike a utility box appears in the middle of your otherwise green front lawn.
It may be sleek and powerful and well designed, but I rarely find it beautiful to look at. (Not everyone agrees I understand.). In fact, a lot of money is spent covering up these devices to make them more palatable. (Is this because I am 50 years old?). Here is a picture of my iPad, my Kindle, and my iPhone all of which have things that hide them and make them more pleasing.
Not too long ago I was on a junk buying trip with Fr. Orndorf and I bought a mid-last century Underwood Typewriter. I use it for art projects and typing forms and envelopes when going into the next room to set up the printer is too much work. Maybe not to everybody, but to me it is also beautiful. There is some style to it. Even if it is not used, there is something pleasing about being in its presence. Some of that might be nostalgia but not all of it. It is one of the objects in my office that receives attention when people visit. "Wow! Look at that! Awesome!"
Then Father Ott told me of a new keyboard called "Qwerkywriter". The keyboard resembles that of my Underwood. It is fully functional except for the paper advance knobs on the sides. (I would have rated it AAA+++ if these had been made the on/off switch or something.) It is of metal construction, wireless save for charging and I find it pleasing to look at as well as fun to use. It feels permanent and important. When people come into my office, they are drawn to it now to an even greater degree than they are to the Underwood because it is taking the best in design and marrying it to the practicalities of modern need and technology.
This may sound like shameless product placement but I am not receiving anything for writing this nor was I asked to give a review. This is important to me and IMHO to us as a people of faith as it relates to beauty. That we can do more and better and more quickly and cheaper is wonderful, but we are neglecting an essential element of what it is to be human if we do not also make it beautiful. If we ignore the beautiful it will be to our soul like missing a vitamin or mineral would be to our bodies. We may get along just fine without it for a long time, but after a while, the effects will start to show and we may not even be able to put a finger on exactly what is wrong, but we will know that something is missing and that our lives will be less for it.