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Zero watts. That is its total power consumption. Zero seconds is its boot time. Zeroes-and-ones is not the only way data can be stored on it.

100% of the world's literate population accepts it as the standard. It works not only across all platforms, but also across all languages, and cultures and civilizations, whether digital-savvy or not. For the last hundreds of years it has required no upgrade. And it is 100% inflammable. So once you erase your data, it stays erased.
Yet it can hold fire, create a gentle breeze, or even float on water. No matter how cyber-chic you might be, right now you are holding it firmly in your hands. Invented by the Chinese centuries ago, it is called paper. As a paper lantern, it can hold fire.
As a folding fan in the petite hands of social ladies, it can create a gentle breeze. As a paper boat made by a child, it can delightfully float a little while on water.
As a technological breakthrough, paper is truly marvelous. If paper had been invented after the so-called computer revolution, industry pundits would have been quick to label it as the greatest breakthrough in information technology.
Ironically enough, when the computer industry was still in its digital embryo a few decades ago, great thinkers and respected 'visionaries' were already talking about the 'paperless' world.

The computer industry was going to create a paperless office, yet nothing could be further from the truth.

The worldwide consumption of paper has only increased dramatically, and has become so high that hectares of forests are lost every day to fulfil this demand. Furthermore, if all the information stored on all the computers in the world equaled hundreds of terabytes and was worth trillions of dollars, the information stored on paper across records, files, libraries, archives, museums, is estimated to be exponentially more, and definitely much more priceless.

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1 February 2003 © niyam bhushan