Quote of the Day
I have no idea how to get in touch with anyone anymore. Everyone, it seems, has a home phone, a cell phone, a regular e-mail account, a Facebook account, a Twitter account, and a Web site. Some of them also have a Google Voice number. There are the sentimental few who still have fax machines.
I don't use e-mail; I phone and fax. I think people who are hunched over their computer screens all day should get a life.
Everything has added up to a load that I'm getting tired of carrying. It's gotten so complicated. It's the three failed marriages, and having kids that grew up without me, and it's the personal criticism, of being Mr. Nice Guy, or of divorcing my wife by fax, all that stuff, the journalism, some of which I find insulting.
I got a chain letter by fax. It's very simple. You just fax a dollar bill to everybody on the list.
Not since the steam engine has any invention disrupted business models like the Internet. Whole industries including music distribution, yellow-pages directories, landline telephones, and fax machines have been radically reordered by the digital revolution.
Then, as the day progresses, depending on how the product is coming in - for instance, the fish man will fax us and say black bass is great - throughout the day, we'll also make judgment calls and adapt to what's available.
Equipped with two cell phones - one for work and another for home - I like to think of myself as a kind of 21st-century digital pioneer, ready to network, fax, page, e-mail and - oh, yes - talk at will.
I like to make colored xeroxes of things. I clip out pictures of Liza Minelli and her husband from magazines and I fax them to people anonymously.
My first account was Neiman Marcus. I cold-called them just like I had cold-called businesses when I was selling fax machines for seven years.
My house has too many distractions. There's the email. There's checking my Amazon ranking. I know I'm the only author who's ever done that, ever. There's the fax. Too many distractions. I like to go out and write.
I don't believe in e-mail. I rarely use a cell phone and I don't have a fax.
I'm not terribly technological. I'm awfully backward about iPads and BlackBerries and suchlike; I still have a great fondness for Teletext, and I clung onto my fax machine for as long as I could, but eventually you have to move with the times.
My workspace is defined by books, ephemera, quiet and light. I don't have a computer, telephone or a fax machine there.
What is special about VOIP is that it's just another thing you can do on the Internet, whereas it is the only thing - or nearly the only thing with the exception of the dial-up modem and fax - that you can do on the public switched telephone network.
Your hands are not made to type out memos. Or put paper through fax machines. Or hold a phone up while you talk to people you dislike. One hundred years from now, your hands will rot like dust in your grave. You have to make wonderful use of those hands now. Kiss your hands so they can make magic.
Those inevitable dreams where you can't get your column in, you know, and at first they were the Xerox telecopy, and then they were the fax machine, and then they were, you know, email. The anxiety remains the same, but the technology has changed.
The publishers, as I remember at the very beginning of my career, wrote letters with their fountain pens. A letter is different from a phone call or fax. It's a different kind of intimacy. That pervaded the entire business of writing and publishing.
I'd have these weird experiences where I'd just be walking down the street with this chord progression in my head, this happened more than a few times, and I'd walk home and find a fax in my machine and it would match the music in my head.
I don't watch TV. I don't use a computer, a fax or a cellphone.
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