19 November 2011

Dear readers, viewers, seers and sighers, all you beautiful Internet people,

This is my "technoautobiography" about writing on paper, a technology which is probably on its way out but which deserves a little reflection before it goes. This isn't like one of those articles you often see in the popular press bemoaning the end of books as if this represented the end of literature; people like Richard Lanham have rightly pointed out that the future of reading is one of compound literacies rather than the impending erasure of centuries worth of cultural memory, anyway (Lanham citations are legit yo150). Technologies change, progress, and intermix, and rarely does something disappear entirely until it has been more than adequately replaced. Some time ago humans mostly stopped shaping rocks into points, but we haven't forgotten how to kill mammoths. At least I assume we haven't; I would have to google it.

Still, paper is surely and ever more quickly leaving us. For the most part, this doesn't bother me. I'm grateful, if anything, that I haven't had to read a paper memo for so long that I don't remember the last one. But I'm not writing to you about reading, or the transmittal of documents, or books or the postal system. It doesn't bother me that you're reading this on a computer. What I'm writing about is something simpler, something which has only become more essential to me as I've grown older. I'm writing about the act of Putting Words On Paper.

Keep well,

Signed: Andrew Pitman
Return to main article page to comment.