World building is one of my favorite parts about writing. I love creating a new world, a new environment from scratch. The little.bird universe presents a unique hurdle, however, in terms of technology. Everyone except the top tier of society functions without our modern amenities. Anything with screens is forbidden (and that’s most of our current gadgets).
I recently chatted with Professor Whalen, who provided me with an ingenious idea. He mentioned that original computing devices did not employ screen technology (which surprised and confused millennial me–how on earth could people work with computers when they didn’t have the ability to click on folders, or type in commands?). This also reminded me of my mom’s college job; whenever the subject came up, she always
grumbled about “punch cards,” and told amazed me that computers used to take up all the space in a room. It was her job to punch the cards that provided the computer with directions. However strange such a system sounded, I recognized that it might be the solution to my current story’s problem. Hence, my Wikipedia search about computers, which delivered to me a short historical lesson on my most favorite of today’s wonders.
My solution: This society uses an antiquated form of computational technology, something with a tiny screen, if at all, something similar what we used in the 1970s. More significant to my character, Lizzie Curious, is their printing press technology. In all likelihood, printed products would be produced much slower–maybe every two days, and not at all on the weekend.