Chapter 2: Save Our Souls
Ngnghm, whom I call Ann, was fascinated by our keyboards: because of physiological differences between our races, similar devices had never been imagined by Houyhnhnm computing engineers (I pronounce that like Hunam). Now, as she was watching me closely, Ann noticed that I was punctuating most of my typing with recurring combinations of key chords. I told her I had no idea what she meant; and so she had me record and review how, after every sentence or so, or before changing activities, I was composing the sequence Ctrl-X Ctrl-S, or Command-S, or some other mantra that varied slightly with the application I was using. Interestingly, I wasn’t even aware that I was doing that before she told me! What was this mantra doing, she inquired? How could I possibly repeat it without even noticing — and why would I? I told her that depending on the application, each of these mantra saved the current file, and that typing it had become ingrained in me as a subconscious habit, because I used it so often, out of necessity. What does "saved" mean wondered Ann, and what made it a necessity?