Paper as Computer Monitor : LG Philips LCD e-paper
I think we have all heard of LCD paper before. If you haven’t, it’s a way of turning an ordinary piece of paper into the same potential as a computer monitor. LG has created the A4 electric paper, a 4,096 color flexible plastic that is millimeters thick. Apparently, it is so good, that the image is good from any angle.
Clearly, the application for this technology is infinite. No more having to pass out a sheet of paper when you can just download it. The last thing we need is to kill more trees to create junk-mail, and how many hard copies of something do we really need?
I figure that we are slowly becoming a paperless society, which makes me wonder if we will eventually have children who will never know paper. That is the subject of my story today.
The Last Paper
“Hey, sis, what’s that?”
“See that thing over there?”
My brother picked up a flat piece of material and brushed the dirt off. I wish he wouldn’t get himself dirty like that. I’ll probably get blamed for it.
“It’s plastic wrap.”
“Yeah, but there’s something in it.”
My brother was actually right, for once. Whatever was in it was white, and had some lettering that I didn’t understand.
“I don’t know. Let’s take it to mom.”
Of course, mother gave us quite a scolding about how dirty we were. She made us take a bath before she would even listen to us. However, since she promised to listen to whatever we had to say afterward, we didn’t mind the bath.
When we came out, mother was looking at what we found and didn’t say anything. I was afraid that she was really mad at us, but she was smiling.
“Come here, kids, I think I know what this is.”
She had a computer screen up, and I saw some pictures on the encyclopedia. The pictures looked like what he had uncovered.
“What is it, mommy?”
“You two have actually found a sample of paper.”
“What is that?”
“It’s an old kind of display. But whatever you put on it is permanent. That is, as long as it would last. Paper only lasts a few decades, then it turns to dust. This one is perfectly preserved, it’s probably the last sample of it, ever. Too bad we can’t read what is on it.”
“Can’t we just scan it into the translator?”
“No, it is written in human.”
“Don’t we have anything left in human.”
“Unfortunately, the humans died out before we got here. There was nothing left but dust, and that’s all we ever found of their records. And from what we can tell, the humans relied mostly on paper and display screens.”
“Can’t we look at the display screens?”
“All display screens were all dependent on software that lasted even less longer. It isn’t built like ours, which is backed up into the elements. No, this preserved piece is the last piece of humanity. Too bad we’ll never know what is on it.”
I looked at the symbols that read “RECIPE”. I wondered if it was some sort of law, or poetry. I wished mother was wrong.
Well, there was a little alien twist on the end on that story. In case you don’t see my point, it’s that nothing of our present information systems is designed to last forever. Paper will turn to dust in a matter of decades, and electronic data could easily be wiped out like a fire. If the human race were to die out, what permanent things would we have as a testament to us? Nothing we could leave behind, apparently. Now we know why God wrote the Ten Commandments written in stone. Via Gizmodo