I had an interesting conversation with the guy (I'm going to name
him "Bart" - I have no idea what his name really is) at the antique store
as to what is and is not "low tech", while the other clerk
scrambled to find the case that goes with the typewriter. The
conversation went something like this:
Bart: So, what do you plan on doing with your typewriter?
Aeva: I want to use it to write zines. I think it is more fun to try to make the authoring process as low-tech as possible.
Bart: Huh. Interesting.
Aeva: Well, maybe low-tech isn't the right word, because I wouldn't call a machine as complicated as a typewrite low-tech. Anachronistic is a better word for it.
Bart: Well, they're certainly not high-tech, no?
Aeva: Yeah, true, but look inside *removes a panel revealing a million pins* ... look at how these pins here connect the keys to the little arm things. Can you imagine being a person who designs typewriters for a living? Could you build one of these things?
Bart: Huh. Yeah, no, I definitely can't do that.
Reflecting on the conversation on the way out, I still think its funny how what determines if technology is "high" or "low" is how excited we as a culture are about it. Or, maybe how much the technology is valued. For example, a computer is high-tech, even though as an invention its not particularly new. A 3D-printer is seen as being high-tech by a lot of people, even though the overall complexity of the mechanical aspects of the device is pretty low. 3D printers have been around for a little more than two decades, but are only really a hot thing now. Having built two 3D printers, the magic for me has faded in favor of a different kind of enthusiasm.