From HyperMnemonics – MetaMimetics some thoughts about the features of the text editor software Emacs.
One of the joys of working with Emacs is the buffer. The user can select and paste from many blocks of copied or cut text. Every time the user copies or cuts a region, the block is added to the buffer without wiping out the previous block. It’s a compositor’s dream.
One of the other joys of working with Emacs is the terminology: mark, point, kill-region, copy-region, yank from the kill ring. Text editing sounds like a playground game of dodge ball.
I like the symmetry: select a block to be copied or cut; select from copied or cut blocks. Emacs is a generous replicator. With other applications and platforms, I have achieved similar results using multiple windows to create and access scrapbooks. Still there is a difference. Select, copy and paste [using multiple windows and a wordprocessor or text editor] is not select and paste [using Emacs].
And we go on to think about language and practice:
Yes, memory management needs account for the difference. But the language makes one wonder. Does the ellision of selection [i.e. copy] in the common holophrastic expression (cut-and-paste) reflect a view of of the user as one-block-at-a-time reader? It may not just be memory management that is at work when one considers the metaphors that shape a user’s understanding of what they do.
Intriguing how the ability to practice and compare different ways of writing serves remembering disjecta.
One wonders how the economy of gesture impacts the modes of thought as one is writing…
And so for day 949