To Type, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth...

A man of the cloth and the steel he wields


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  1. I’m going to be attempting the same thing on a train next month. I’ll have four tries at it, two trains each way. I’m wondering what is going to happen, after his encounter on the plane.

  2. I had opportunities on planes, trains and a bus. For the plane, I was worried about the extra time and possible questioning at the security checks, so I chose not to bring a typewriter. For the train, there’s no security. I typed in a private room without issue. When I was in a non-sleeper car, I didn’t, but just because I was shy. I’m fairly certain I could have. On a bus, there just wasn’t any room.

    Now, I could be misrepresenting the typosphere, but I think we do have strong leaders or at least members that have strong leadership qualities. I agree with your comparison, otherwise.

    1. I would lean towards “members with strong leadership qualities” in agreeing with you – those who take on the responsibilities of making things happen (type-ins, for instance) and who are not hesitant to try new things. Those who really dig deep for new information and delight in posting amazing things. By “no strong leaders” I mean none who press particularly hard for a certain homogenization of what it means to be a Typospherian or what “proper typewriter collecting” is all about.

      I probably overthink the mechanics of social dynamics, but I was wondering about how much the format of the community affects the tone of the discussion. I suppose more specifically, if having moderators actually is bad for the tone of discussion in communities below a certain size threshold, or if it is the fact that we typospherians have to entice our readership like story authors have to that keeps things all flowers and rainbows.

      1. Well, I think that PTF is a different animal. It’s private, with over 15,000 members* seeing the list either as an individual emails or as a digest. Moderation almost has to happen with a list that size, and with the format — every bit of spam or public airing of dirty laundry gets blasted out whether the members want it or not, so Will and co. need to keep a lid on it.

        Ours is a far smaller (and looser!) community. Nobody is forced to read any posts by anyone else, and the central “hub” site is available for folks to post to, if they have messages of general interest. I think we’re small enough and friendly enough not to crap in our communal front yard, so to speak, and we’re certainly not going to link to spam blogs, where a mailing list owner needs to be vigilant that spammers haven’t crept in via someone’s address book.

        * Not all active, I’m sure. Taking that figure from the membership page.

        1. Uh, duh, I mean “over 1,500” members. Dunno where my brain was there.

  3. Hi Munk,

    I just want to say thanks to you for posting your typewriter experience. The info is very precious to me. I enjoy reading it. I bumped into your website yesterday. No, I don’t have any typewriter yet. Never had one. But now, I grow more and more fond of them and am shopping on eBay/Craigslist for one without much luck so far and rather confused. Again, I just want to say “Thank You!” and how I love the manual typewriter/writer community!!! Have a nice day to you all!

    1. Heh, your remark about Craigslist made me check it for the first time in a week:
      I found this listing that’s 4 days old. I wonder if I’m too late… ):

  4. Evening Ted, interesting comments on leadership and social dynamics. I actually think this IS the revolution. It is a process that’s begun and will probably not end as there’s no manifesto, just a motto: “I type, therefore I am”. See, that’s possibly not been written down under the auspices of the typosphere, but I’d be surprised if any Fellow baulked at it. It is that kind of place, we are that kind of people. But I’m pleased the typosphere constituent’s differences are as great as our similarities. Could be dull otherwise. Having said that, it feels good to find resonance with the ardent cyclists (as it happens, I’m one), printing and graphic arts enthusiasts (natural enough, given the circumstances) and historians (guardians of The Wisdom). When I have reflected on the typosphere as a community, like now, it is as a combination of audience, fellowship, stimulus and support. But I hadn’t thought in terms of leaders or, as a consequence, followers. The organism simply defines itself by its extremities. What the Typosphere is changes with each utterance, each silence, and each new member. Thanks, Ted.

  5. Apologia: strike that last comma.

  6. Munk, I knew what you were saying with your original leadership comment. I just wanted to take the opportunity to pat all of us on the back as being strong leaders that are paving the way for all or any of us to follow down a new, slightly less beaten path!

    1. heh, I know what you mean. Thanks to Richard Polt, now I want to take apart my Skyriters and strip the paint off of ’em. The magnificent bastard!

  7. I have to overthink social dynamics because I’m so poor at them, and I’d agree. I like the definition of leader up above. The typewriter had no trouble with TSA so that isn’t the big risk even I thought it would be. It did get swabbed though and came through clean.
    In short, do what’s comfortable and enjoyable. Hopefully for someone that will be arguing lol.

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