This is a simplification, but Karl Marx argues that factory workers are alienated from the machine upon which they work because they do not own it. The mass produced tool will alienate you from your craft, too. That is what it is designed to do. It—like you—is meant to generate the maximum amount of profit until it breaks, at which point it is readily disposable. I do not want to use, or be, a disposable thing anymore, which led me to build my first mechanical keyboard. I wanted to feel the work more intimately through my hands. Even if the words I write generate profit for shareholders and CEOs, even if the realities of the ad-based model drive me to pursue stories I would rather leave by the wayside, at the very least I can connect with the feeling of familiar pressure from my keyboard’s hand-lubed switches. I can take solace in the connection to my tools—even on my worst days. It’s an E-White NK65 with Silent Clears, and Astrolokeys Keycaps.
This is not revolutionary praxis, or a statement about how other people should approach their work. This is how I get through some of my bad days. By reminding my hands that we can imagine something better than this.
Also, my keyboard is very pretty. – Renata Price