Why Paper Persists
steven bell writes \"The New Yorker has an essay/book review by Malcolm Gladwell called \"The Social Life of Paper\". It is essentially a review of the book \"The Myth of the Paperless Office,\" but it includes some great observations on why it is so unlikely that we will ever completely rid ourselves of the need for paper. It is just weaved too tightly into the fabric of our daily lives. An excerpt:
Paper enables a certain kind of thinking. Picture, for instance, the top of your desk. Chances are that you have a keyboard and a computer screen off to one side, and a clear space roughly eighteen inches square in front of your chair. What covers the rest of the desktop is probably piles—piles of papers, journals, magazines, binders, postcards, videotapes, and all the other artifacts of the knowledge economy. The piles look like a mess, but they aren\'t. When a group at Apple Computer studied piling behavior several years ago, they found that even the most disorderly piles usually make perfect sense to the piler, and that office workers could hold forth in great detail about the precise history and meaning of their piles.
The story is found Here \"