Good Ideas Salon London
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Really Interesting Things From the Internet

Things on the internet

[Picture by Ben, from here]

Russell and Ben have made a very nice thing.

[In a previous life, Ben once won me in a competition. True story.]

They've taken some of the things that their friends have written on the internet they liked the most and made them into a kind of newspaper.

You can read all about it [see what I did there?] here and here.

They've sold out now I'm afraid but the site of the Really Interesting Group is here.

I've been thinking about the primacy of paper. Things in print have more cultural significance still - partially due the peer review requirements, partially due to cultural conservatism, but partially I think for the same reason that books are better than ebooks [for the time being] - thingness.

That is - if all digital things are in state of potential flux - palimpsestic - then printed things are the opposite - they are the reified forms of information - static, fixed, final and very much things, in a way that digital things are not things.

As my mate Bruce said this morning - in a hundred years you won't be able to find a playback device for a DVD [have you got a cassette player handy? Laserdisc player?] but you will still be able to read the printed word.

If the paper survives. Apparently vellum is much longer lasting.

Previously newspaper content was replicated online. Now online content flows out into paper via cheap on demand printing. Soon content will just flow everywhere, depending on how you want it.