Long Live Paper!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Transcript

But the death of paper has been predicted for decades now. Bill Powers, media critic for the National Journal, believes that paper isn’t just an old habit, but rather an advanced technology that is nearly impossible to improve upon.

Comments [4]

Bob sacks from Copake NY

I wonder if Mr. Powers has ever read an e-book. I understand his case and his sentimental position, as I have been an analog paper-producing magazine man for 37 years.

The real issues facing some of my print friends and pundits, is that they seem to forget that it is actually the words, the journalism, the thinking, and the final distribution of that wisdom, that contains any meaningful importance. I’m sure Mr. Powers would say that the paper adds to the experience of those words. Which is kind of ironic, since most of those written words are produced these days with a keyboard and viewed by the author on computer screen.

Why does it matter so much if it is paper or plastic? What is the difference? Who really cares? Is there really no hope for a significant digital future? Is paper the only way to share information? I think not.

I’m on my 5th ebook now and here is what I have found. The words are a transportation device. The words take you wherever a good author or journalist intended you go. It doesn’t matter to the transportation system, what the substrate is, could be paper could be plastic. Words don't know and don't care how they are read. They just want to be understood.

Dec. 12 2007 01:03 PM
L. DUNSETH from SF, CA

loved your show and discussion....and regarding the 'death of the hinge'......don't forget that books have hinges too!
cheers,
ld

Nov. 26 2007 08:19 PM
C.Griffith from Ann Arbor

I think books are actually well-suited for digital format, since they are usually just text without graphical content. One other benefit is that they have their own light source, which means you can read them in low-light. Magazines with rich graphics are harder to pass-up for me, but I suppose they could be adapted for e-readers to look nearly as nice. But its the browsing feature, where you're not really sure what you want to read, where printed materials really do offer the bigger advantage.

Nov. 25 2007 06:37 PM
B. Marx from New York, NY

Because of the context I could not resist forwarding - posting - this poem: (though I realized recently I'd like to rewrite - edit, seems they're never done)

A Late Call

There is something so honest
about hanging a door
if I were Jesus
I would have wanted to
have been a carpenter
for a door cannot lie
to work, it must stand
and reflect the hands
that hung it
no philosophical quandary
no esoteric argument
understood or even misunderstood
by those only in the club
the merest clod - or the greatest genius
are on equal footing
when it comes to opening a door
it works or it doesn’t
any hand can feel it
it’s intuitive like
the knowing many call faith
oh yes – they work better and worse
but there’s a feeling when it’s better
that everyone can know
if they are open to touching
to knowing
to recognizing every
threshold
as some different sacred place
where there is something to know,
yes - if I were Jesus,
I would want to hang doors
for those who hang men
can never really be sure
about what they do

Nov. 24 2007 07:38 AM

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