One thing I learned in the process of writing is that technological progress is messy. We often talk about it in terms of a simple line going from “awkward” to “amazing,” but there are so many blind alleys, so many false starts, so many products that are simply weird.
Royal Digital wasn’t the original bad calculator that led to better keyboards. No, it doesn’t fit as neatly – it arrived at a particular later stage when better keyboards already existed, but calculators desired to be in our pockets
and getting there was still tricky.
I don’t know exactly yet where I will put Royal Digital in my book, although by the year’s end I will. Maybe it will amount to a few paragraphs, maybe a chapter opener, maybe a footnote. Maybe it’ll need a few rewrites to get there (the paragraphs above are already a rewrite of a Twitter thread
, originally teeming with awful fake outrage that Twitter is so good at squeezing out of people), or perhaps it won’t even appear at all.
But I believe that, either way, the time I am lucky enough to spend charting the edges of my universe will make the book so much better – adding many small details, that “lived in” aesthetic, a feeling of following a veteran as he walks you through only the good stuff in only the good ways.
And so let this be my holiday wish for all of you in 2019: to have enough time for the universe you love.