Shifting into low gear

We like to digitise things, but we hardly ever commit digital content to physical paper. For many, this would amount to a shifting of progress into low gear, a slowing down of the inevitable acceleration of culture and technology. Yet, this approach says nothing about the reality of durability.

The truth is that paper is more durable than the Cloud, ink more permanent than binary code. We may spurn the physical medium, but it is the only one which can assure real and prolonged survival of our written content.

There is a myth in the making, if not manufactured already, and that is the myth of self-sustainability of our digital world. Even discounting the reliance on electricity for maintaining and accessing our digital productions, the trouble with digital is that it has too much in common with the fingers whose linguistic root (digital > digitus .lat > finger) they share: it vanishes in thin air on the snap of one’s fingers. It can’t be recovered, and it bears no traces. Its convenience is inversely proportional to its endurance.

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