I love technology. I understand its transformative power but also its ability to alter the future tense. The future we can’t see. I say this so you won’t think me a geeze. I was on train last week with some neighbors and we were talking about reading the news on iPads. The neighbors liked reading on their tablets. I am a fan of the paper paper. I’ve had this discussion before but never really thought about my side of the argument. Sure the paper paper uses natural resources. Sure you can bookmark and word-search on a tablet. The paper paper is unwieldy to some. But one thing you can do with the paper paper that you can’t with an electronic story is see a thousand words of the story in one huge folio view. With a broadsheet paper like The New York Times, I can go back to a piece of data or a person’s name without missing a beat. Muscle memory reminds me where on the page the content was, e.g., lower left, mid-right, previous page. That’s hard to do with a tablet. Tablets are so linear. Paper papers or a bit more for how people really read. Reading news and analysis is more chaotic. It’s more twitchy. (Google Fast Twitch Media.)
The reading experience is different using a paper paper. By tearing out passages or pages and leaving them in piles on my desk, in the bottom of my backpack or on my dresser, it reduces my footprint of digital notes, URLs, tags and logs…of which there are many. For me, the usability of the paper paper — crumbs, coffee spills, folding routines and all – provides a richer experience. A different experience. For me, a better experience. I think the paper paper is here to stay. #justme. Peace.