First, let me say Thank you, Dick Eastman for your recent plus article titled The Paperless Genealogist.
This is not a joke. It can be done. In fact there is no reason why it shouldn't be done. We hold on to paper because we like the certainty of having it in our hands and being able to feel documents. It seems impersonal to pull up a file on your computer, magnify it, drag it around and then close it, but paper... Paper is there. It's in your face, a constant reminder of what you know.
We use excuses all the time about why we use paper, but we know, from our research that it doesn't last forever. It can be easily destroyed by any number of things, but we still cling to it like it is the be all/end all.
If you haven't guessed, I had a bit of slip, almost, this weekend, where I seriously considered printing out 38 pages of Civil War Pension file documents i found on fold3.com for my 4th great grandmother, Edna (RICHARDSON) BABBIDGE. Her husband Erastsus died of dysentary in Louisiana and left her with a number of very small children to care for... Ok, off topic a little there.
The point is, why do I want to print paper? What is bringing me back there? The documents are clearly already online at fold3.com so.. that's one place. I have them saved to my harddrive, so I have them there. They are also on a flash drive so I can bring them around with me during research.. so... I have 3 accessible copies of these documents, yet I still wanted to print them out and put them in a binder.
Glad to say I didn't do it, but I have to ask myself. What's wrong with me? Am I afraid of losing this information. Do I just not trust technology (which would be a shame, given that's sort of my job...) What draws me... us... back to paper?