Disposable Ideas

Sturdy, printed books present the illusion of fact. Weightless, in-the-cloud PDFs present more as fiction.

John Maeda on Twitter

I can’t stop thinking about this. It reminds me of banks. To give the impression of security and longevity, they built in stone (now, they build in expensive real estate). They say: “We are not fly by night. We will be here tomorrow. We built this temple to permanence.”

Of course we know that the paper world is rife with disposable paperbacks and other futuretrash. It turns out it’s pretty cheap to make books. But it’s even cheaper to make a PDF.

I need to think about this more. This seems important.

Related: David Carr’s characterization of 48 HR magazine as “a testament to the proposition that even the most wired cohort of journalists in the country retains a fetish for the printed product” in the article about the recent legal troubles.