Thought Collector: Printing
[retyped on March 30, 2015 from a printout from March 16, 2002 from an email account that no longer exists that was tied into a device no longer supported! If I hadn’t printed this out, these would would forever be gone. Prophetic words follow! -Ken]
Printing is an amazing thing. By writing in a format that is captured on paper, there is a chance to communicate with the future! Hundreds of years may pass by, but your little piece of paper may be your ticket to immortality!
Look at Emily Dickenson. What if all of her poetry was captured on paper-tape, used back in the 1970s moreso than magnetic media? 100 years later, it’s unlikely that anyone would be able to decode it, or would even want to, because it is encrypted in a sense.
Or worse, had her poetry been saved to diskette, the magnetic media would have deteriorated. Or in a sent-email stored on a server somewhere? What if the holder of that server goes out of business? There goes your poetry, Emily.
But no! She wrote on every piece of paper she could find – even toilet paper. Because of this – because her writings were saved on paper, they were found, and read, and saved, and cherished. She died, but became immortal in a very human fashion.
I don’t like my work to be lost. There is nothing worse than getting everything “just so”, and blam, something happens that destroys or distorts your work.
Certainly, I could learn to take the stance of the Buddhist monk sand-painting, spending months drawing a picture with colored sand, only to destroy it when finished. In a sense, that’s what happens when you write and other people read. When other people read what you wrote, your written thoughts are being scattered to the winds – the thoughts are no longer just yours anymore, but belong to anyone who reads them.
It’s a frightening thing – your baby is out there for the world to take, distort, malign, or worse: Ignore. But it’s empowering as well – your baby is out there for the world to cherish, nurture, love, absorb.
The permanence of printing appeals to me the most. if the batteries die on my VTech Postbox companion, everything I wrote here is lost. If the Yahoo server that I send the e-mail to has a glitch, it’s lost. Print it out, and technology is less likely to destroy it. Sure, there is fire and water – but if you have fire and water destroying your writings, it’s more than likely that more important things than your writings are at stake!
That’s all I have to say for now on on this subject.