Fascinating essay on the death of the letter, also known as ‘snail-mail’, as an art-form. It makes me want to rush out there and write a letter. As I plan to go to bed early I’m sure that this will pass.

Two observances came to mind as I read it.

  • No mention of the consequences for stamp collectors. The survival of the stamp could become independent of the letter as it is a tradeable artifact in its own right — just ask any number of developing countries.
  • No mention of the weblog as a demotic alternative to what people used to do as letter writers. The problem of archiving technology still remains an issue, I know that there is an unquantifiable number of techie packrats out there.
  • I think it was about five to ten years ago that I heard that sending a letter to a public institution carries the weight ten times that in proportion to an email — a letter represents the feelings of a hundred others who didn’t write; an email ten people. I don’t know if they still carry the same weight.