Death to Receipts!
Friday, August 21, 2009
It's Apple's fault I hate receipts. A few years ago, I grabbed some computer accessory off an Apple Store shelf and brought it to the cashier. I pulled out my paper-stuffed Costanza wallet and gave the cashier my card. Then he asked an unexpected question: "Do you want us to e-mail you your receipt?"
I said yes and thus, unwittingly, began a crusade against the paper receipt—a slip too analog, too temporary, and too wasteful to be anything but superfluous. It is a relic of another age, when record-stuffed filing cabinets lingered in musty basements; when patriarchs sat down with a checkbook on Sunday afternoons while the football game was on; and when we expected to search for things for hours, not seconds. Apple had recognized and made explicit an anachronism of our times. We no longer need a piece of paper to tell us what we bought, just the information that's trapped inside it.
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