You Can't Swat a Fly with a Computer

Martin writes "Michael Kinsley, in a op-ed piece in the L.A. Times writes, "Some evil force is causing people to stop reading newspapers! Newspaper circulation figures, which had been drifting decorously downward for years, have started to plummet. At the current rate of decline, the last newspaper subscriber will hang up on a renewal phone call that interrupts dinner on Oct. 17, 2016. And then it will be over. . . .
Newspapers are essential to every American, and none more so than the fools and ingrates who have stopped buying them. It is up to us, as members of the last generation that experienced life before computer screens, to make sure that future generations of Americans will know what to do when it says 'Continued on Page B37.'""


Just think of all the trees that will be saved and how much less will be in the recycle bin.


Why is it that we have all these fights to "maintain things as they were"

I have yet to see someone who backs such luddite concepts decide that they will skip things like toliet paper, indoor plumbing, electricity, vaccinations, healthy food, cooked food heh, etc. But there seems to be an undercurrent who fight to hold onto the 1950's as if they were heaven. I refuse to believe that people could maintain such views.

If they daily newspaper in print goes the way of the dinosaur I question if we have in fact suffered any loss. The only thing I would encourage in this day and age is that we never move to all electronic storage and transfer. One EMP burst could wipe out the sum of human knowledge if we allow that to occur.

Honestly, the newspaper can go the drain as long as the Internet can be counted on with as good or better credibility and either computer screens or some new technology is developed to not wear out a person's eyes to an extreme. And lest we information professionals forget, not everyone has access to an Internet-accessable computer. Get all those down to an art, and I may just drop my newspaper subscription.

Also, have you ever tried to write on a computer screen with a pen for the crossword? Oh, there are crossword programs out there? Hmm... that kind of sucks if the Internet is even going to replace the ability to write intelligible words on paper.

Oh, this is simoleon101. I'm just checking in at school and am too lazy to sign in.

There are two, interlocked issues here: One is the demise of the dead tree newspaper. The other is the demise of concern about what's going on in the world.

The newspaper itself is something of an archaic product. Why, for instance, do the publishers insist on delivering a huge paper halfway through the weekend instead of giving me the whole weekend to read it? But it does provide an efficient way to provide a fairly deep knowledge of the state of world events. It's very hard to read or skim through a comparable amount of information on the screen, even with broadband.

The bigger concern to me is that generations x and y just aren't interested in the world. It's not that they don't read newspapers. It's that the 'news' doesn't interest them (even when it affects the fate of their country and the world). That's partly their fault, and partly the fault of newspapers and other news media that get caught up in 'runaway brides' and Michael Jackson and other stories that don't matter and don't engage their readers' higher faculties.