Thursday, December 18, 2008

There's this new stuff called papyrus...

Perhaps 10 or 20 years from now, someone similar to Steve Jobs will have a breathtaking idea.

Paper! It's cheap (compared to a computer or a Kindle), it is preservable forever, you can cut it apart and stick some in your pocket, make copies, fold it, and then do all sorts of other things with it before it's recycled. Oh, yes, it's recyclable, too.

Moreover,  you no longer have to plow through the Internet looking for relevant news, it's all printed there, selected, edited, and lovingly laid out, just for you.

But you can't surf the net with a bunch of printed paper, can you?

No, but that's what computers are for. The two are not mutually exclusive. Some egghead-types, or just people who want to know what's going on, could read words printed on paper and
look at the net. 

Yes, it's possible. A lot of people used to do that. Doesn't require great skill or a large amount of time.

And now that wood pulp trees can be grown in a day (this is in the future, remember), paper is made by robots in a clean factory using solar energy. It goes for, like, a penny a ton.

Yes! Those things in the rare book bunker at Yale? You can have modern versions of them!

But, hey, keep reading the digital kind. Moby Dick and Infinite Jest will always be the same. News is always different (in a all-the-same kind of a way). 

 Instead of everyone buying a computer for $100 to read the news, one company could buy a printing press, a computerized one, for $5,000, and then serve everyone for a nickel. Or a Yen. 

This could happen, right after people realize that nuclear power is actually safe, cheap, and less polluting than any other technology.

But that's another story.

1 comment:

  1. Abe - PROFOUND, as always. You have an impressively large brain.