Thursday, August 10, 2017


Remember the testimony with the woman witness in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case who supposedly wrote a letter to Martin's mother? Rachel Jeantel, Martin’s girlfriend, said, when presented with the letter in court, "I don’t read cursive." It was a great victory for the Zimmerman side as it cast doubt upon the sincerity of the Martin side testimony.
A peripheral story was that a nineteen year old woman in the United States can not read cursive. The reason is that many schools have stopped teaching it in favor of printing, which mirrors their computer experience.

"Quartz" has an article on cursive handwriting. Many schools that stopped teaching cursive are beginning to wonder if that was a mistake.

Research shows that writing by hand actually helps your brain work better. The reasons for taking handwriting seriously are worth considering even if you’re not a kid or a parent worried about education. Anyone can benefit from penmanship’s cognitive benefits, whether you’re taking notes at a meeting or just trying to figure out what you think. Brain scans during the two activities also show that forming words by hand as opposed to on a keyboard leads to increased brain activity. Scientific studies of children and adults show that wielding a pen when taking notes, rather than typing, is associated with improved long-term information retention, better thought organization, and increased ability to generate ideas.

So advances are not always advances. And unintended consequences are still consequences regardless of intent.

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