It’s not just me: everything is downsizing. In a recent turn through the basement, I found a Wall Street Journal from the late ’90s. I’m comparing here to an Atlanta Journal Constitution, but they’re all smaller now, and a modern WSJ is the size of this AJC…
Along about 2006 or 2007, newspapers changed, one-by-one, to the square format. They’re thinner now too. I know it’s good to be using fewer trees, yet I also have a fear that the “news” as we have known it is downsizing too, and not in a healthy way (but I’ll keep that rant or another time).
As for downsizing in general: I remember a Kurt Vonnegut story with a subplot in which the Chinese were working on solving over-population by making people smaller and smaller, so we’d use less space and consume fewer resources on the planet.
The last time I thought of that was on a sweltering summer day in Manhattan, when I felt like I was boiling just walking down the street. I looked at the trees: small. I looked at the buildings: large. “We need to shrink ourselves,” I thought. “Either that or make trees larger, so cities could fit under them and be shaded. Oh wait… Vonnegut already thought of that.”
I did a quick google to find out what story the shrinking people were in, and found this instead. Here’s a quote from this link …
When Arne Hendriks, a 6” 4’ Dutchman, faced audience members at TEDxBrainport in 2012, he smiled apologetically. “I have some bad news for you,” he said. “You’re not short enough.” Hendriks believes that the planet’s growing population—currently at 7 billion—is unsustainable. His solution? We should shrink ourselves to 50 cm, around the height of a chicken. “I think we can actually achieve that,” he says.
But back to Vonnegut (and newspapers) I still don’t know which story has the shrinking people, but I found this in a 2007 NYTimes article:
But the time to read Vonnegut is just when you begin to suspect that the world is not what it appears to be. He is the indispensable footnote to everything everyone is trying to teach you, the footnote that pulls the rug out from under the established truths being so firmly avowed in the body of the text.
I’ve found copies of nearly all Vonnegut’s books as I sorted through my shelves and Bob’s boxes. I reread Cat’s Cradle not long ago and yep, still loved it. Maybe my State of Mind is extra goofy this week, or maybe I’m just one of those people who still suspects the world is not what it appears to be, even in the newspapers.
More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind