Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age offers a portrait of an exclusive community of neo-Victorians living within a dizzying nanotech future. One of the charming quirks of the upper echelons: Reading the same news as other people in their social group—sometimes even on paper:
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Looks like Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is bringing us one step closer to the the future of nostalgia for the past, with a hybrid option
Read the rest at the link above.
John's take on products like this was a little more far-reaching. He has electronic paper being used for almost everything, so much so that if you want something on traditional paper you need to request "pulp". Suki gets a smoking, open flame and prostitution ticket in DC on ePaper, that is electronically signed by everybody concerned, including the appellate judge, and the officer remotely scans her "stimulus card" (government issued credit card) for payment. John's vehicle invoices and registration are ePaper, with biometric authentication.
In Suki II (Google browse link below), Suki's wedding license and certificate with Sunshine are done on a variant, a notary's log not much thicker than paper. Most all of these items are connected through The Mesh to K-Net.
When Suki changes her name, in Suki IV (browse on Google, below), every document she ever created on the networks is updated with her new name. Pretty cool stuff.
Expect a comment from John below (or I can add it here if he e-mails it to me). We discussed Diamond Age during the drafts of Suki I and I was surprised to discover John only read a little of it and didn't like it. He is heavy into Snow Crash. I liked both but retained more from SC than DA.
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