Towards the end of his life Frederick Nietzsche’s bought a typewriter. The philosopher’s vision was failing and he needed a tool to help him continue his work. According to academics, Nietzsche’s use of the typewriter had a profound effect on his writing and his philosophy. His early works were long form prose, his later works “changed from arguments to aphorisms, from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style.” (twitter style?). Nietzsche himself felt that the “apparatus” played a part in the forming of his thoughts and some of his most influencial works: Thus Spake Zarathustra and the Will to Power were written during this period. (@AJKeen remix)
This is a compelling and fascinating argument that i really want to believe but after more ‘research’ (a google search two blog posts and a wikipedia page) i found out that Neitzche unknowingly bought a damaged typewriter and when he took it to a craftsman to improve it, the machine was damaged further. He eventually abandoned this new technology out of frustration.
So while i want to, and do believe that the technology we use influences our writing and our consciousness and that we can draw all kinds of parallels with social media one of the most significant i can draw from this story is that Neitzche had lousy tech support and an angry frustrated philosopher can change the world.