#Paperless 2013, Part the Infinity: Whine and Cheese
Via BoSacks in the Twitterverse and on The Facebook Machine,
By Richard Romano
Published: January 17, 2013
Google isn’t attacking anyone in the print, or paper industry, for that matter. This campaign is about office paperwork. It makes us seem like Luddites coming off so defensive!It’s not a question of being defensive or of being Luddites. Personally, I have over the years reduced my use of paper, and not in all cases with any kind of long thought-out deliberation. Here are just three examples off the top of my head:
- I used to print Google Maps pages when driving to unfamiliar locations; now an iPhone app or GPS devices get me where I’m going and I still only occasionally get lost. Nothing to do with the environment or saving trees; it’s just more convenient. Also, too: the Elvis voice that you can import into the Waze GPS app is all kind of awesome.
- When I work on print projects, I proof copy predominantly on screen and exchange PDF proofs electronically. Have done for years. I do this not to protect the environment, but simply because it is faster and more convenient than overnighting or messengering hard copy proofs. Now, I do catch more errors when I print out proofs and read the hard copy, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on who has to make the corrections and how amenable they are to my comma-chasing.
- Whilst I have not officially signed up for any kind of paperless billing (I am happy to help keep some transactional printers in business), I do access statements and invoices online and pay most bills electronically. I do this not to save trees, but to save postage, and to save time, as electronic bill-pay is faster and more convenient, at least for me.
If it matters to you that auto makers can’t make up how many miles per gallon their cars get and slap it into ads, or that cosmetic companies can't make claims and then use retouching to show results, or that airlines now have to include all of their "hidden" fees in pricing, this situation is no different, and there are laws against it.Exactly. It’s about truth in advertising, if nothing else. There are myriad reasons to not use print, just as, yes, there are myriad reasons to use print. Let’s just be clear about what those real reasons are. * From the Going Green Font of Useless Knowledge (so to speak): what is now called a “hashtag” and is also referred to as the “pound sign” (except in Britain, where, obviously, that would be £), and in the dim and distant past was called the “number sign,” has also been called an “octothorpe” or, variously, “octatherp,” the latter of which is supposedly the proper spelling, at least if telephone patent documents constitute any etymological authority. Supposedly, the use of the word “octothorpe” (et al.) to refer to this thingey (#) was coined as a joke by Bell Labs engineers at the same time the asterisk (*) was referred to as a “sextile.” We thought you’d like to know.