Friday, October 24, 2014

A Neat Weird Thing Happened With My Brain The Other Day

I was zesting a lime and the damned thing tore a huge chunk of flesh out of the tip of my middle finger. It was a terrible demon zester. After having also maimed my wife's thumb, we decided it would go in the trash. We made a little photo collage and posted it on Twitter. It was adorable.

Later that night, I sat at the computer to write an email, and realized "Oh hey, one of my key typing fingers is wrapped in paper towel and electrical tape, and now I can't type properly".

I'm mostly a proficient typist, making correct use of all my fingers and typing pretty fast. I don't know the number of words per minute but it's up there. I aced typing class in high school (fun side story: my 1991 class was the last to use electric typewriters before the school switched over to Mac Classics. See? Fun.) and while I make plenty of speed-related errors while typing, I'm equally quick with the backspace button.

So with one gimped finger on my right hand, I had to resort to "hunt and peck" like surly old TV detectives do, but only my right hand. My left hand still made use of all five digits. I was surprised by how quickly I adapted to my handicap, all the while retaining the left hand's typing training. That was pretty rad, but there was something even more rad:

Normally when I make mistakes, I see them on the screen and my right hand quickly jumps up to the backspace key and fixes it. But this time, every time I made a mistake, I'd see it and hit the space bar, expecting it to autocorrect, like on my smartphone. Because I'd switched my right hand to single-digit typing like I do on my phone, my brain seemed to have switched to smartphone mode, and just expected all the errors to be autocorrected. 

How cool is that? It's pretty cool, that's how cool.

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