Tuesday, 19 April 2011
The computer is still limping along
although it took me five attempts to get it booted up this morning. It seems to be okay once that happens. I did do an extra back up of all the files yesterday just in case. Backing up vast quantities of information was a matter of clicking the mouse, inserting disks etc etc. It is something we take for granted. While I was doing it though I suddenly thought of mediaeval monks who worked in the scriptorium of their monastery. The lighting was poor. The seating was bad. The pens they used were primitive. The pens also required constant renewal and delicate surgery to sharpen. The ink monks used was ground and mixed by them rather than provided conveniently in a bottle. They made their own brushes. If they were fortunate someone else made the vellum or parchment they worked on but they would have known how to make it. They wrote each individual letter, stroke by stroke. So many of them did it with infinite care. They did it as an act of worship. One book could be the work of a lifetime. It was not a simple matter of clicking a mouse a few times. I can press a key and a letter or symbol appears. I can write all of this in the time it would have taken a monk to prepare the materials to write it. If a book was damaged or burnt then a lifetime's work could be lost. I must remember this when I click the mouse button.