Lax fax

I currently have all my books in crates, awaiting the building of my library. (Or, rather, that is a grand way to express “until I get some shelves for my home office.”) Finding a book to read is, in consequence, a hit-and-miss affair, though sometimes fun. Last night I found Umberto Eco’s How to travel with a salmon and other essays – a little gem of a collection of musings on travel, technology and various cultural phenomena.
In an essay on fax machines, written about 1989, he talks about how the fax machine allows you to send notes and drawings all over the world, even from hotel rooms. And, most importantly, how the technology at first is only accessible to a select few, and then, when it becomes democratized (i.e., everyone has it, it becomes inaccessible again, due to flooding of traffic – so you end up calling people to ask them to connect the fax, or perhaps, as he suggests, send them a letter ….
Sigh. At least sending a spam fax costs the sender something, which may be the whole difference.

1 thought on “Lax fax

  1. Anders

    Hi Espen (we’ve actually met – some 5 years ago – doubt you remember? šŸ™‚
    I agree with you about the sheer volume making electronic communication – while previously efficient – inefficient due to the information overload. I remember a t-shirt from 1994-95 with the simple text on a big “warning sign”: “The Internet is full – go away”… šŸ™‚ … if AOL had just listened… šŸ˜‰
    More seriously, though: I’m finding that blogging and Wikis are the new forms of communication that work online; although they have different merits than email, which I still use for one-to-one communication. Through blogging the last two years I have met a lot of very interesting people and expanded my network with very relevant contacts (businesswise as well as personally).

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