Sunday on the Bed with the Newspaper

Updated 20-Sep-2023

Fifteen years ago, Sundays were best spent on the bed with too much coffee and the Sunday New York Times, a massive amount of information. Indeed, it has been said that the Sunday New York Times holds more information than the average serf in the Middle Ages encountered in their lifetime.

Occasionally we would get up from the bed to walk across the room to where a computer was plugged into the Internet, to look up things on Google (yes, even back then). But the heart of the content was first and foremost printed, folded and delivered to the door (even in Berkeley, California this was possible, as the Bay Area edition of the NYTimes was printed locally). A somewhat expensive but definitely worthwhile pursuit.

This morning as we lounged on the bed, I realized that the same sense of serendipity and engagement with content was happening on my iPhone and with various apps and social media as intermediaries: Facebook, Twitter, Goolge Plus, Isoreader (RSS Feed Reader), all pointed to various pieces of content consumable across the web, and delivered to the 4 inch screen. Granted, it has taken a while to get this curated list of friends, fans, and followees, and RSS subscriptions.

But at this point, it is not the New York Times who does my curration, but dozens, hundreds of diverse sources. Today, as I was readong a New York Times article, I was informed that I was reading the 5th out of 10 articles alloted to me for the month (and this being 13th of July, I will likely exceed this amount). Of course I consume New York Times articles on many devices and browsers, so this was simply one of many cookied environments that the New York Times tries to limit my consumption (since I do not pay the exhorbant subscription price).

This leads me to assume that the New York Times, since it no longer does anything critical to the value chain of my content consumption on a Sunday Morning (besides providing a small slice of that content itself), is very much in danger. In any case, it has indeed taken this long (15 years) to get to a point where the curation of content and the bundling and delivery of that content has been completely disrupted, such that the original sense of wonder as well as satiation which the Sunday New York Times provides (and still does, no doubt) is available and distributed digitally from a diversity of curators and content creators.

Now, my bed is located in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Definitely out of reach of the New York Times print delivery service, and it would reach me Monday morning, at the earliest. And so the significant disadvantages of print (bulky, physical, costly) are erradicated in one fell swoop. Of course, this content pipeline does require even costlier apparatus, the iPhone, which is why one should definitely short the NYTimes and go long on Apple, just as we have done in my household.