Paper is technology

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I’ve been meaning to write about this excellent post for some time, which articulates beautifully an opinion I’ve been grooming for a while: that paper is technology, and like any technology, there are advantages and disadvantages that are inherent to the form. As J. Mark Bertrand explains:

Paper is a great way to capture ideas. Where it excels, though, is in developing them. As a writer, I keep a journal. This is a fancy word for a bunch of paper bound in book form where I write down quotes, ideas, outlines, even drafts. I just happen to have reached the end of a journal I began about a year ago. Flipping back through the pages, I can see the development of ideas over time. Some of them went nowhere, some turned into articles or stories. In this journal there are about four or five novels in planning, too.

Bound books are a technology, too, of course, as I think with frustration whenever I read another report about the inevitability of the demise of paper. So is a bookstore, if you think about it. Discoverability, serendipity, randomness, human interaction… So you decide which features are most important to you and you make your choice accordingly.

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