adjective.online has been quiet for a little over a month. We’re sorry. But while ‘away’, dormant, silent, whatever way one might choose to describe internet silence, adjective explored the translation that occurs in the shift from online to paper. A compendium of sorts, the magazine features a highlights package with a few surprises. But before we get there (watch this space), here is a love letter to the vast world of dematerialised information affectionately known as the Internet.
I didn’t mean to leave for as long as I did. I promise. You might call it betrayal, but I’m not so sure that I would agree with you. After all, you’ve always been a little rash when it comes to your opinions of paper.
It would be equally unfair to lay the blame squarely at the feet of PDF. I mean most peoples printers are filled with such terrible paper anyway. Besides, they’re always running out of ink. And lets not even start talking about binding!
You would argue that too many trees are being cut down anyway and books and magazines are so one-dimensional. I mean they only have room for a limited amount of stuff. One story in the case of a novel. Collections of shorts in others. And Internet, ask yourself honestly, aren’t dictionaries more rewarding when they’re on paper? I suppose you’ll never really know.
Anyway, the linear form of the book – pages bound between a cover – is so out of fashion these days. Because Internet, you’re about everything! Fiction, non-fiction. News. Fake news. Jokes.., are those what you call memes? 4chan, reddit, twitter, facebook, instagram, snapchat… I just can’t keep up anymore!
Yes, Internet, you may even boast that you invented your own vocabulary. Your devices, the electronic things that you depend on for life, have replaced books. What’s more, they are infinitely more versatile. Hey, some you can even dip in or splash with water, but generally any device that requires a battery ain’t so good at getting wet.
But we’re back here now, together again at last.
Internet, while I was away I realised one thing, paper is special. Not in the way that it’s anymore special than it was before, but because you, my beloved web-based brain boffin, have made knowledge so very ordinary. I mean there’s a million places you can go on your phone, tablet or laptop. You’d need a million books to go to as many places and libraries and web-cafes are only open so many hours a day. And internet, lets not talk about data costs.
And battery life.
And being anti-social around the dinner table.
And click bait.
and ad blockers.
and screen contrast.
and reader view available.
Ugh, Internet, you’re turning me off.
But I love you. I can’t get enough of you. You’re my waking thought. Inbox gratification. Notification lust. Like envy.
I think we’ll be together forever to tell you the truth. Hey, I think you may even start getting along with paper. You’ll never actually meet, but you’ll visit from time to time co-existing between the translation of digital information and printed matter.
As you circle each others ghosts, I think it will all start making sense. For now, Internet, take solace the company of the spectral presence of paper…after all, it brought us together in the first place.
adjective issue 1, volume 1.