August 12, 2004
Thumbs up! reports: All Thumbs, Without the Stigma (links/extracts from NYT)

"The thumb is the new power digit," said Edward Tenner, a science historian for the Smithsonian Institution who has spent time thinking about the interaction between hand and machine.

Dr. Tenner, in "Our Own Devices: The Past and Future of Body Technology", said that the thumb's role in operating keyboards became prominent 250 years ago with the advent of the musical keyboard, but then was diminished in stature by banishment to the space bar of the typewriter. Now, he said, it is "enjoying a second renaissance."

[...] So important has the thumb become on gadgets in Japan, where text messaging caught on earlier, that a certain demographic group is referred to as oyayubi sedai, "the thumb generation."

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