In reading Tribble and Trubeks’ “Writing Materials” I learned that writing is a product of historical circumstances and cultural values as well as of individual invention.(2). The reading selections enabled me to realize just how much I and many others take modern technology for granted. In the book writing itself is defined as technology, which threw me off very early in this assignment. I’d previously only thought of technology as something that uses electricity or some type of battery. I do understand that writing has been in many ways perfected by technologies such as the typewriter and computer but writing itself as a technology still seems to be a bit beyond me. My lack of understanding did make this project a little difficult yet interesting but what was more difficult was the project itself.
Trying to compose an idea for an invention was a very trying task, but after lots of thought and checklists, I was able to produce an idea that I thought feasible. I found it very easy to think of many different ideas at once and then go through them one by one checking off the things that were wrong or unnatural about them. One of the first ideas I explored was writing in mud. It was natural, I didn’t need many materials and it seemed easy enough. But I came to the conclusion that the text would be difficult to see, as well as understand and the mud would probably crumble into pieces. Another idea I explored was writing in the sand. There were many things wrong with this idea. First, whatever I kept the sand in would be unnatural. Also if the sand was moved, so was the text and lastly where in heck was I going to find sand in my apartment complex.
Finally I found an idea that I thought just might work. I would write a message on the bark of a tree with leaves using that sap from the tree to make the leaves stick to the bark. It seemed easy enough, everything was natural but the only thing was that it probably wouldn’t last very long. This I figured would only be a minor obstacle because as with the invention of all new technologies there would be a few glitches.