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Blast from the Past

By Mark Bardsley, MLIS Day


This month's blast comes from the February 1993 issue of the Sojourner - forerunner to today's Silverfish.

Don't let the pepto-bismol colored background to this informative column distract you, for therein our predecessors were schooled in the sophisticated wonders of "cut and paste" between two windows. If you haven't exercised your ability to cut and paste recently, I invite you to do so. See the iSchool Knowledge Base if you have questions.

Now that you've cut and pasted between two digitally rendered windows, I invite you to recall the paste you used in elementary school. It wasn't control + v or command + v or Edit >Paste. No, it was in a white plastic Elmer's bottle. If the paste had a slightly minty smell you had the real deal. Otherwise, like me, your school was on a tight budget and your paste was homemade. Either way, a few sly lifts of a loaded paste applicator (cousin to the tongue depressor) to the mouth held one over until lunch.

Those were the days. I ask you, what fulfillment is there in today's cut and paste? Carpal Tunnel? But I risk sounding like a Luddite. Perhaps there is something to be said for the time I recently saved cutting and pasting fragments of a group project to create a single messy work. I don't recall, but the exercise probably generated fulfilling endorphins. Perhaps the old Sojourner column is significant in that it allows us to glimpse the dawn of a new era where cutting and pasting doesn't taste good, it facilitates the productivity illusion which helps us feel good.


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Page last updated: January 09, 2004