j.c.'s Blog

Papernet

Dec 28, 2010 | 2 minutes read

The entirety of this is listed from an email on Bad Signal by Warren Ellis. I’m posting it here because I can’t find a version of it on his blog and I don’t trust gmail as an easy archive of everything anymore.

The “papernet” — and I suspect the borders of the definition are already becoming fuzzy — begins from the stance that paper is still really useful and a nice thing to have. Written language is the original cultural virus, because you can pass that fucker around.

You can read this, for some background:

http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=6670

The Papernet Stance says that sometimes you want the internet to spit out a bit of paper. Not least because it remains a pain in the arse for every given location to spit out a file to every mobile device — and, even more importantly, because not everyone has a mobile device.

Why does this even matter? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m in the business of moving ideas around. So if someone I know fired out a PDF of a single page that was a broadside, a folded four-page pamphlet or even, per Elizabeth Genco, an 8pp minizine

http://www.flickr.com/photos/elizabethgenco/sets/72157594276405114/

I’d be interested in that. There can be powerful reasons why something needs to be experienced in pages, and there can be useful reasons why I’d want to leave the house with a printed folded sheet of paper in my pocket.

And there will always be people who donate time and toner to running off those things, in locations far distant from the creator, and giving them away.

Of course, one day, we’ll be able to print them off at home on indestructible Tyvek, so the only evidence of human life on this planet in a million years’ time will be your minicomic of a hobbit cornholing someone from Battlestar Galactica.

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