Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Papernet Blasphemy: Tablet Habit

Some zine creators who still work mainly with dead trees call their medium the papernet, a response to the popularity of the internet.

I have no problem switching between mediums, using either paper or photons.

There are those who in paperzinedom who see the internet as a threat.  I don't.

And there are a few who see the internet as the only way to communicate.  I don't.

But the world of hardcopy isn't as important as it was in the past.  Digital offers benefits that paper can't match.

I managed to save up enough money to finally buy a computer tablet (an Android, not Apple; I'm not a yuppie or have yuppie funds).   It's a seven inch tablet, portable and lightweight enough that I can easily take it with me to a wi-fi spot to download articles and posts from the Web.  Later I can lie in bed and read all the stuff as if it was contained in a large but thin paperback book.

Now I have less print-outs adding to the mass of material that is taking over my apartment.  In the past I tried to cut down on print-outs but I have problems at times reading from a computer screen.  Digital reading with the tablet has become more personal, comfortable.

I read an observation that a new generation is being created, one that doesn't have to own so many physical objects: music CDs, books, magazines, etc.  Now you can store most of your entertainment and information digitally in a tablet, notebook, or portable external harddrive.  And there is also the cloud, online storage you can access almost anywhere.

With the lousy ever-shifting job market it's easier to move elsewhere without dragging tons of physical possessions along.  And unless the job market changes to better paying jobs providing steady employment in one location, what you will see is a nation of digital gypsies moving from place to place with fewer tangible possessions.

Is my tablet perfect?  Of course not.  It does act up at times; the touchscreen can be touchy.  But I use it every day to gather files and read them later.

That said, it's still good to read a plain paper zine, taking a break from the glowing screen.  You don't have to in plug a hardcopy for recharging when its power gets low.


Doug said...

Ray, don't admit to the whole Internet that you're NOT a yuppie. Imagine the consequences!

Oh wait. That's fine. Never mind.

The current age does make me think we old folks may have festishized our stuff because we didn't have today's options.

But after The Fall of Society, we'll appreciate our non-powered paper.

X. Dell said...

You've often commented on how it's often easier to read hard copy than screen copy. Is this a good trade-off for you?

Ray Palm (Ray X) said...


I agree: if society falls digital rot could be worse than paper rot. One figure I hear is that hard drives and data CDs are good for about ten years of storage. How true that is, I don't know.

X. Dell:

Trade-off is the perfect term. The seven inch tablet, as I mentioned, is as comfortable as reading a paperback book. It sure beats reading with a notebook computer in bed with the unit balance on your stomach. [G]