in Tools

Reviving How We Used to Think and Write

Richard Powers, winner of the 2006 National Book Award, reports how his speech recognition software has altered his experience of writing to be more like that of traditional oral culture…

…I can write lying down. I can forget the machine is even there. I can live above the level of the phrase, thinking in full paragraphs and capturing the rhythmic arcs before they fade. I don’t have to queue, stop, batch dispatch and queue up again. I spend less mental overhead on orthography and finger mechanics and more on hearing my characters speak themselves into existence. Mostly, I’m just a little closer to what my cadences might mean, when replayed in the subvocal voices of some other auditioner.