The viral publishing game is over and we all lost
Gabriel Stein

If you are old enough to remember the repro camera and wax roller and you started going digital with Ventura Publisher or Quark XPress you will understand this lament:

I used to think that it would be wonderful when all publishing was digital. Fewer trees would be cut down and less office space would be taken up by periodicals.

By picking up a magazine you were entering a world created by a team, guided by an editor. Content was less predictable.

Now we have a very noisy publishing environment where content is predictable, derivative, tweaked with multivariate testing, broadcast by coders who scrape the content we read and share for linguistic analysis. A profile is built of the reader so that they can be better targeted with marketing offers.

Instead of trees being wasted we now have intellects being wasted and real intimacy being sacrificed.

Once upon a time if you brought reading material to a dining table you would be frowned upon. Now a phone beeps in our pockets and a wall goes up. The person you are sitting with is now in a bubble created by the likes of Zuckerberg - a person claiming that he wants to help people to connect.

We can connect without an electronic mediator. We can connect better when we switch our connection appliances off and simply be present.

I might go looking for a Fordigraph 350 Spirit Duplicator on ebay. There must still be some people who like to read from sheets of paper folded, saddle stitched and trimmed.

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