Trope-a-Day: No Paper Future

No Paper Future: Played mostly straight.  And there aren’t many data rods around either, except in specialist applications; ubiquitous wireless networking, and the slate (i.e., future-iPad-analog) replace them more or less completely for routine applications.  (And no, unlike Star Trek, no-one has a stack of slates on their desk.)  Of the paper documents that do exist, most of them are smart-paper that can electronically edit itself or become other documents or its own appendices.  Actual paper tends to be a mark of the very traditional on special occasions.

(Actual paper books are a little more common than random paper documents, but even they are collectors’ items.  That said, there are entire bound books made up internally of smart-paper, so you can keep a bookshelf in your house which can change to contain whatever books you need from your (bigger) e-book library essentially on-demand. [Incidentally, as an author’s note, you have no idea how much I want this technology.  Really.  You don’t.])

Money-wise, it’s similar.  While there is still metal coinage and paper money – well, plastic-silk money – around, virtually all transactions are done digitally across the data network.  The physical currency exists nearly exclusively for certain types of anonymous transaction, traditionalists, and eccentrics.

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