Blog Watch: "Wendell Berry: A New Language of Place"
Wendell Berry in conversation at National Cathedral, April 22

Blog Watch: Students reflect on Wendell Berry's "Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer"

I can understand that Berry and McCarthy have writing habits that don’t involve using the computer. Everyone can and should use what works best for them. McCarthy uses the typewriter because that is what he used for most of his career and it’s what he is accustomed to. Berry continues to use the typewriter because of his moral and conservationist inclinations, and also because he enjoys the bond he and his wife share in a more manual writing process. When I am on in years and well into my career, I wonder what technologies I will forego or resist like these authors.

The western world has had a culture of improvement since the rise of civilization- today is no different. Technologies, like the typewriter and computer, were developed in the hopes that they would improve society, however improvement comes with consequences. Like Berry, each of us has to choose what technology to use based on our own ideas and values. McCarthy was wildly successful using the typewriter, and someone can be equally successful using a computer. To go without a computer would be difficult, especially for a person in today’s workforce who is expected to use one, but not impossible. What each of us does in life is always a balance between what is best for ourselves and what is best for other people and things. The use of such a powerful, and power-hungry, machine will probably be debated for the rest of our lives.


Students (apparently at University of Minnesota) respond to Mr. Berry's "Why I am Not Going To Buy a Computer" and Cormac McCarthy's "No Country for Old Typewriters".


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