Thin. Light. Safe. A New Way to Read.

This week we’ll have a short break from the Everfree series while Dr. Light does some digging. But the newspapers got our attention in another way even before the last article. And that’s how we came up with something revolutionary.

Now, I’m not an economics major. In fact, the most I could say I know about markets is that they don’t act at all like plants do. My dad had a funny saying: “Markets are the only place you can find somepony who will open a greenhouse underground.”

It’s been twenty years since I heard him say that and I still don’t know what he was talking about. Also, dad, our underground greenhouse project is going fine thank you.

According to some economists, though, if you take away jobs in one sector then you don’t necessarily make jobs in another sector. Fair enough. We here at the ERI are very sensitive about the requirement that every pony has a chance to contribute to society through their work, and the need to balance that against our society’s impact on the world.

That’s why we’re killing the paper industry.

Equestria’s forests are in severe decline and, despite our efforts, are only slowly making a recovery. Zeroing-out unnecessary logging has thus been a pet project of ours for some time. A few weeks ago, our patent got approved for our new brand of holo-readers.

Prototype of the revolutionary, new branch of holo-readers.

Our holo-readers are designed to replace print. They range in size from hoof-held units to billboards, and are lightweight enough that a pony can carry a few dozen without problems. They’re made of carbon fibre with a two-micron thick sheet of silicon. Thanks to our new patent, the silicon can mold itself into circuits when placed inside a magnetic field at a certain wavelength.

Holo-readers cost about six cents to make and are completely recyclable. Because the circuits mold themselves with just a small application of energy, they are also reusable and disposable. Holo-readers will biodegrade after a few years, but can also be easily recovered as there are no scrap parts to melt down.

Most importantly, they are made without cutting down any trees. Newspapers and magazines can be distributed in this new format in hard-copy, just like now, but without any painful environmental impact. While we’d prefer everypony got their news on the internet with soft-copy, we recognize that not everypony has a stable connection and can afford the luxury of a mobile phone.

Mass production has already begun, and no doubt some of our followers have already seen some of our test models in Canterlot Square. We’re also in negotiations to print back issues of some popular serials, such as All My Stars and Three Boxes, No Satisfaction (which I haven’t read but Thunder says is divine).

Here’s hoping all those paper-industry jobs we destroy get replaced with something equally as productive. Not holding my breath, though. There’s got to be a better way to organize labour…