Simple Minds
Sun, 20 Jun 1999 08:59:53 EDT

exerpted from SLATE MORNING DELIVERY: Sun., June 20, 1999=20

--today's papers: Technical Difficulties

By Maura Kelly

>>The Post off-leads an Internet story that says the industry has
>>shifted from a =93speculative casino into a measurable force that is
>>changing nearly every corner of modern capitalism.=94 The piece cites
>>a UT study that found =93the Internet generated about $301 billion in
>>U.S. revenue in 1998 =96 closing in on the automobile industry.=94
>>This statistic would be more meaningful if the parallel statistic
>>for the auto industry were provided. Some other interesting points
>>that the piece suggests but does not raise: What kind of effect is
>>the increasing reliance on computer communication -- which
>>decreases the paper generated by things like letters or faxes --
>>having on the paper industry, if any?=20
Pulease! Just a shift! You cannot take the number of e-mails and conclude=20
they are displacing an equal number of print communiques. All this rapid-fir=
communication exists because it CAN. I'd be unlikely to go to the trouble o=
typing this little rant, putting it in an envelope, addressing it and mailin=
it to Rohit so that he could just as unlike-ily copy it and distribute it to=20
the Forklist via the postal system or courier. In other words, I didn't=20
receive 200 LETTERS a day prior to the advent of e-mail.

Different Paper: How many people surf the Web and print instantly what used=20
to take a trip to the library and feeding dimes into copiers to get? The=20
ease with which razzle-dazzle reports and presentations can be generated=20
means more people are likely to provide them? And the ease with which=20
editing is done and corrections are made means multiple editions of the same=20
document are likely to exist. That's been my anectdotal experience anyway. =20
And, apparently, HP's copier division's. And what about the pack(ag)ing=20
industry - cardboard boxes used to pack all the goods shipped thanks to=20
e-products ordered on the Web?

However, I drive by a library daily; it does look a bit ananchronistic.

>>(And do environmental experts think it will or could have an effect on=20
waste >>reduction and related issues?)=20
This may become a green issue - why allow the printing of newspapers and a=20
zillion other publications when they're available on the internet? Algore i=
the perfect spearhead :-) for this campaign, for obvious reasons. I say=20
"allow" because it is the Democratic way to regulate federally what will be=20
adjusted anyway by supply and demand. Fewer newspaper subscriptions means=20
decreased newspaper production.

I suggest Maura view the movie Other People's Money for the DeVito Solution. =20
Switch production from widgets to gadgets. Training programs abound, even=20
govt-sponsored ones.

>>TP=92s also interested in employment numbers; the=20
>>Internet created a plethora of new jobs, but it=92s also cut jobs --
>>for instance, as mentioned in the article, buying an airline
>>e-ticket doesn=92t require an airline representative.=20
Maura's "logic": if the printing press is invented, won't scribes be out of=20

Industries to prosper from a reduced airline ticket cost, in random order:
1) luggage=20
2) airline & all related, including fuel
3) hotel & all related, including car rental
4) shoe (make the leap)
5) construction (always)
6) etc, etc, you know where I'm going.

>>Similarly, are the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer as a=20
result of
>>the Internet?=20
Typical "Liberal" us-or-them zero-sum mentality.
My thinking: Conspicuous consumption gone mad! Trickle on down.

>>The piece also takes a subtle jab at Gore, noting
>>that five years ago the Internet was seen as =93a fringe tool,=94 so
>>much so that =93politicians never mentioned the medium, let alone
>>took credit for it.=94
Real subtle. Gore's a nimrod.