The Almighty PEN.

Pen is much more powerful than the sword as the saying goes. Words have the power to move mountains. It has the power to love, hate, hurt and embrace. It also has an enormous power to stop war and bring about peace. Back in the dark ages a feather dipped in ink was used to put thoughts via words onto paper. Today the words have been transformed into an electronic version of itself. Today we are seeing that most of us do not even have to write using a pen and paper. The next version up would be through using Artificial intelligence (AI). We would be thinking it and a robotic mind would compute the thoughts into words. This may find its way into many applications such as in mentally compromised patients who lack the ability to communicate using words or in patients who is deprived of the basic communication skills such as in patients with trauma or brain injury. So in the future we may even be able to read minds. The pen may not even have the need to touch paper. We have gotten so used to and also have gotten ourselves spoilt by our exposure to all modern day conveniences. This credit goes to the invention of the pen without which many modern day gadgets would not have come into existence to suit our modern day comforts.

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Poetry, drama, plays, shows, movies, inventions, records, architectural blueprints, speeches etc. All were made possible with the touch of a pen. Even today we have not yet learned to appreciate the efforts made by the inventors of that time and the road by which this pen has traveled from its humble beginnings to end up in our hands today. Today we have got so used to it that we don’t have second thoughts about it. Because it has been embedded so much in our lives. We have also conditioned ourselves to have it to be taken for granted. It has now indeed become the very core and part of our lives. Even today we find the need to use a pen at some point in our lives. The World over is changing rapidly in which the pen version is transforming into an electronic version in some form. Electronic signatures are gaining popularity and also seems to get accepted in legal documents as well in lieu of the old fashioned signatures on paper.

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As writing came of age at a day way back when, the manufacturers of pens and all other related businesses started flourishing. We need ink to write with. So a new industry was born creating employment for many and changing the lives of many in that evolutionary process. Similarly the computer manufacturers, the microchip makers, satellite technology and the software industry etc have changed the face of how we live and work today often without the use of a pen or ever touching one. Back then grammar, script writing, and good hand writing were the order of the day which had played a role right from school to the job market. The computers have spell checks which do the correction for us due to the very fact that we do not have to use our minds anymore. Basic math calculations were done in the mind back then, today calculators have taken over that job. If all our jobs are being taken over by machines, what would be the function of the pen and paper along with the Human mind. Would they become obsolete very soon? Maybe. We seem to be heading that way.

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A persons handwriting says a lot about him or her, their personality and maybe even their mindset. Today the effort and respect that we are giving to writing is very minimal. The word “Handwriting” is even unheard of. Back then people used to admire and compliment a persons handwriting. Today this art is vanishing by the minute and has indeed taken a back seat both in our personal lives and in the business World. The need to write is fading fast and has been taken over by voice recognition. Once the voice is recognized the dictation software takes over and lets the computer do its work of transcribing it into words. So when would we feel the need to write in this modern era. People used to write letters, place a stamp and post them in the mailbox or by making a trip to the post office. This was an experience in itself. The post master was a face attached to a person. We knew him by name and he knew ours. It was a close knot family. We handed him or her that letter, he or she used to stamp it and place it in one of the large mail bags. Screens have become touch screens, destinations have become bar coded, tracking done using numbers etc. So where’s the need for a pen? In a decade or so from now we may even be asking ourselves : What is a pen? This is analogous to the question of What is a typewriter or a word processor?

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Human mind is a Master in what it does. It’s an amazing supercomputer with unlimited storage space and coded with configurations that is unmatched by any man made machine. To complement that all the programs were initially written with pen on paper and later converted to the required computer program, formats and language. It’s really fascinating to learn about Human History from it’s humble beginnings when we had learned to hold a writing instrument for the first time to the age today where we have seemingly advanced to not having the need for one. We seem to be trying to reinvent the wheel by losing this almighty pen once more by giving up our control and handing them over to machines which can read, write, speak and think for us. One fine day we will have lost our pen. We might end up completely speechless and thoughtless and that day will be the age of complete and total automation. During this era we may start looking to invent a writing instrument in order to put our thoughts onto paper once more and then put the same into action. The pen might have to be reinvented all over again just like all the past civilizations had been reinventing theirs before us.


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