The reality though is that we still use a lot of paper, despite the near ubiquity of personal computers, smartphones, and other digital devices, despite the increasing popularity of online bill paying and other digital transactions, and despite the declining revenue of the U. The organization sponsors “World Paper Free Day” every year to raise awareness about how we use paper.
Paper, even with its costs and inefficiencies, still has its lure.
As a recent column in The Economist observed, “the global consumption of office paper more than doubled in the last two decades”.
It turned out that it was not enough to have the technology, the people who were using it were printing out more things than ever.
Primarily made from wood or rags and often coated with gelatin, clay, or other substances, paper is largely the same today as it has been for centuries.
Among with learning, paper has also promoted rationalism, the middle class, the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution, mass communication, modernity, and the democratization of knowledge.
Paper has a much longer history, though writing didn’t start with it. The Sumerians are most often credited with inventing writing, along with civilization, around 4000 B. Instead of sending texts and tweets about what they ate for lunch, the Sumerians recorded their inventories of grain and other supplies on soft clay, which they hardened by baking in the sun.
The ancient Egyptians famously used papyrus, made from the spongy material inside the stems of reeds growing in shallow water, which they rolled into scrolls.
For the last few years I’ve felt that the work that Anoto is doing with digital pen and paper will keep paper alive.
I look forward to the day when my physical magazine has digitized paper.