Of typewriters, murder and DRM ..

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I have a very inquisitive, tech savvy five year old .. And there is a lot I pick up from his questions ..

There is a program on Sky TV called Murder She Wrote which has a distinct theme tune .. Murder She Wrote – Theme Song

Which he likes ..

One day as he watched the song ..He asked me ..

What’s that?

I listened – dreading the prospect of explaining the concept of ‘murder’ to a five year old ..

So, I asked him again .. What he meant ..

He said .. That black thing she is working on ..

Ohh .. It’s a typewriter .. (Relieved at not having to explain ‘murder’)

What’s it used for? He asked?

I said .. To write books .,. Because she is a famous author ..

Like you dadda .. :) (Which was nice!)

But then he continued sounding confused .. and asked Where is the screen?

It has no screen .. I said …

Oh ..

No screen ..

Then how does she email the document to her friends?

She does not .. I said ..

Oh .. sounding even more confused ..

It’s just paper .. like we get from a printer .. but with no screen and no email ..

Yes .. he nodded but clearly not impressed ..

Then his face brightened ..

She could scan it and send it? (he sees me scanning documents)


In retrospect, Explaining murder would have been easier .. :)

Apart from typewriters being out of fashion .. what does it tell us?

a) The younger generation does not see the need for paper(note to newspaper industry)

b) They will share content(value is in sharing)

c) They will find a way to share one way or the other (use of the scanner!). While protecting content may not be easy the good thing is – clearly even at age five he sees content as interconnected(and multiformat) and engages with the material far more than my generation ever did!

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