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What I have learned from Carbon Paper

Writing will play a major role in making our world energy efficient.

Carbon paper

Some months ago I was glad to be part of the team of contributors of a very meaningful nonprofit about climate change that led me to look for information about the diffusion of climate change ideas among scientists and this search led me to this website that reminded me of the important role that Carbon paper played on our world economy by accelerating the diffusion of ideas and the birth of new solutions.

For someone whose mother is among the first African women to master and teach typing with carbon paper typers back in the 60s when Many African countries got their independence and when computers were almost absent, this could be an unforgivable oversight but I think that it is never late to remind ourself from something and profit to this situation to learn again. My last statement could be wrong but the one thing among others that I have learned from my unmeaningful contribution to this nonprofit community about climate change is how important was the impact of the invention of carbon paper on our world economy and who is the inventor behind this innovation that really fuelled the spread of ideas.

Carbon paper was invented by Ralph Wedgwood and patted this carbon paper that was a very innovative product in 1807 (here). The Duplicability of information is something that we now know the importance because of how easy it is to share it with the personal computer revolution and the birth of the internet. It seems obvious to me that anyone could spot the importance of being able to print words on paper in a simple manner given the important role that writing has played in improving our society and making it able to achieve more with less and taking smarter and smarter decisions that led us to this world that we are living now filled with products and services of every kind. Gutenberg print press, postal services with railroad and emails had the same effect and impact on making our world an industrialized one but there are still important issues to resolve like climate change and the reduction of the footprint of this natural element that you already know that it used to be a natural product that helped create much more important and meaningful products like carbon paper and it may be still more important than it used to be for our industrialized economy. I hope that you understand with this last sentence that I am lightening the fact that it may be still possible to capture all this carbon we generate and produce important products from them like how we used it to produce carbon paper.

I think that writing will have a role to play for this to happen because of its ability to connect people and make them share ideas and solutions. Because writing gives us the ability to share ideas it will play a role in making our world a more energy-efficient world like how it did for making it an industrialized one able to produce more and more cheap products that eased our everyday life. Writing could have a more important role in making our world clean from the dangerous outputs that come from these mechanized and digitized industries that we have built.

You can see with these paragraphs above that I almost qualify everyone who is able to write as a writer and you professional writer could be hurt by my way of seeing because it took you many years of experience and learning to be this professional writer that you are now. Writing as you do is for sure not about being able to write and assemble words correctly but to be able to clearly tell stories with it and transmit the very real meaning for which each word has been chosen by you. Hopefully, storytelling will in my opinion be a lever for solving the world’s climate problem because it is only with stories that we could onboard people emotionally into a cause, and the problem of carbon is a real cause worth onboarding people into. Then you writers are among the most powerful resource that could make people adopt solutions about climate change because with your words you could hit the emotional epicenter of every one of us and make us vibrate and think again about the state of our beautiful world. With a carbon paper type or the most powerful word processing software you writers could shape stories about climate change and make us change.

The act of writing is an act of sharing ideas and opinions and that’s the diffusion of ideas and opinions that is the first tenant that drives innovations and that’s why I believe that writing will be at the front of the coming innovations that will make our world cleaner because like I have said above it will participate not only on the design of these innovations but also on their levels of adoption. The problem of carbon as I see it will not mostly be about the level of technicality of solutions but about the adoptions of these solutions and those who have learned a bit about the theory of adoption know how important the understanding of the innovation to be introduced by the target audience plays such an important role into their adoption decision-making process and stories as I have said is the most powerful medium for explaining people things and that this same power that makes you, writer, an important actor of the adoption of the coming changes that will need to be adopted for our world to be cleaner and this is what I have learned from the carbon paper. I hope that you also will learn something from these cheap words from someone who is trying his best to be a good writer because he is highly willing to share ideas with people and that’s the single motive of these words that you have read.

If you are a writer then know that The carbon problem matter.

Thank you for reading



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Diop Papa Makhtar

Diop Papa Makhtar

​Papa makhtar Diop is before anything a geek or a nerd or both if you want. Geek and nerd are now overused but they used to name a knowledge driven person.