Archive for September, 2008|Monthly archive page

Leaving Paper

I’m one of those people whose entire life exists as pdf files on my hard-drive. And whilst there’s a filing cabinet in the corner behind me, it’s really a box for dead trees – my first instinct when I want to find anything is to search my computer. For me, if it’s not in soft-copy, it doesn’t exist. Of course, the paperless office is oft-cited as a typical techno-utopian dream that won’t come to pass. And whilst it may not yet be commonplace, Techdirt points towards an old New York Times piece which rings true for folk like me:

After rising steadily in the 1980s and ’90s, worldwide paper consumption per capita has plateaued in recent years. In the richest countries, consumption fell 6 percent from 2000 to 2005, from 531 to 502 pounds a person. The data bolsters the view of experts like Mr. Kahle who say paper is becoming passé.

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Shameless Plug

A new issue of online journal m/c was published a few days ago. This one has the theme of ‘Publish’ and takes on a few ebook type topics. And I managed to get a paper in that covers some of the ideas I’ve been kicking around for a while. The good thing about traditional academic journals is that you get a few thousand words to eke out an argument – and try to explore things that blog posts don’t *really* allow. The bad thing is that the lead time has to take into account a peer review process, so when an article finally gets published, it can feel dated already. But m/c is a thoroughly modern journal which manages to appeal to serious academics – and everyone else.