Paper notebooking, that is.

I’ve always been partial to pen and paper, probably because I grew up without computers.  I still write all of the first drafts of my short stories in a notebook, and only then transfer them into Word.  Over the past few years, I’ve been under the sad impression that I’m one of those hopeless dinosaurs, clinging to the ways of the past.  Sort of like my fiction writing college professor who insisted on typing all of her novels on an old typewriter.

But now here comes Julian Assange to rock my world, as always.  Use a condom, Julian!  Heh…sorry about that.  It turns out (and it comes as no big surprise) that our iPhone conversations are being intercepted, our Web surfing is under surveillance.  Leading me to the scary question…especially as an Internet addict…what if one day I am forced to disconnect?

I’ve been fortunate to grow up with parents who participated in a computer-free protest movement back in Poland.  These are the techniques which an American resistance may have to use in some bleak future world.  Illicit pamphlets on illegal printing presses.  Scattering paper leaflets.  Manifestoes on walls.  Good old word of mouth.

Yes, all these are far less quick and efficient methods of communication than my posting this blog right now to a theoretically unlimited audience.  We’ve all seen the social networking potential of the Arab Spring.  But what happens when the online system is controlled by the government we oppose?  What if we can’t use it to resist, precisely because the system is used to monitor our resistance?

If nothing else, I can envision a time when I will once again have to confine my thoughts and opinions to the pages of my private notebook, where they can’t be read, instead of putting them here on my blog.   I hope that day never comes.  But I’m keeping a blank page of paper at my bedside, just in case.

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