Mar 3, 2009

Practical Protest to Paper

by Chris Scott

 I have wrestled violent winds while walking to class — papers in one hand, caramel macchiato in the other. In such actions, I have struggled for but a sip of sweet, white savory goodness, all the while attempting to jam those few strategic facts crucial for a rapidly approaching quiz. Papers have been peeled from my hand by a swift breeze or lost in the tight elbow-to-elbow shuffle on a bus.

For the modern student, the burdens of print on paper are many. Yet the days of struggle are numbered by technological advances, such as the development of hand-held e-book readers like Amazon’s Kindle and the Sony Reader.

Many are not eager to leave the leaf behind but consider the benefits such a device can bring.

First off, the practicality of using a single machine to store all of your documents is simply phenomenal. Some may enjoy the sight of un-filed papers controlling the usability of your desk and sticky notes lining every surface within arm’s reach of your chair. For the rest of us, paperless machines have the potential to put all our documents in one place. E-books have an enormous capacity which allows the storing of an immense amount of text-related files that can all be accessed with the click of a button.

Another great luxury of owning one of these devices is what’s known as the “pure coolness factor.” Imagine walking to and from classes, unburdened by books, bags and other afflictions of the common people. In your hand is the tome of knowledge, the bearer of books and the answer to all the insufficiencies of paper. Its marble-like, high-resolution screen gleams in the sunlight and its white pasty outside and gentle curves attest to the beauty of the information it holds within.

Also, the environmental benefits an e-book would bring to the world. As its popularity increases, the demand for trees will decrease.
With all of that aside, consider the fact that colleges and other institutions are hoping to adopt digital formats for all of their books within 5 years, according to the Educause Center for Applied Research. We might as well accept the fact that our generation is probably the last to commonly use paper books.

Ultimately, switching to a portable reader has great potential to simplify your life. This is why businesses are inventing new forms of hand-held print media, such as Amazon’s Kindle and the Sony Reader. Over time, these devices could modernize (not replace) newspapers, books and magazines, by collecting them in a portable, digital form.

A portable reader may even grant us the ability to walk to class, undeterred by the vicious winds of Mother Nature, holding a white caramel macchiato in on hand and firmly grasping the notes required to pass our next quiz in the other.

Contact Chris Scott at
cmscott@liberty.edu.


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