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"The world is really so surreal these days that it's necessary for us to blunt it somehow in order to stay sane. The artist functions to short-circuit the buffering mechanism, so that people can occasionally perceive the weirdness of things as they are."
- William Gibson

Mediatron  
  A paper-thin networked computer display.  

Actually, I think they look just exactly like a piece of paper. Displays on a very thin film are available today. A prototype "electronic paper" display screen has been produced by E Ink; the entire display, including the substrate, is just 0.3 millimeters (about half the thickness of a credit card).

Bud took a seat and skimmed a mediatron from the coffee table; it looked exactly like a dirty, wrinkled, blank sheet of paper. "'Annals of Self-Protection,'" he said, loud enough for everyone else in the place to hear him. The logo of his favorite meedfeed coalesced on the page. Mediaglyphics, mostly the cool animated ones, arranged themselves in a grid. Bud scanned through them until he found the one that denoted a comparison of a bunch of different stuff, and snapped at it with his fingernail. New mediaglyphics appeared, surrounding larger pictures in which Annals staff tested several models of skull guns against live and dead targets.
From The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson.
Published by Bantam Books in 1995
Additional resources -

An E Ink display consists of a thin plastic film on which millions of tiny microcapsules are deposited. The microcapsules are filled with dark and light particles which carry opposite electric charges. This sheet is, in turn, bonded to steel foil. Depending on the direction of an electric field from the steel foil transistor substrate, either the dark or the light particles are drawn to the surface, generating a pixel of that color.

Be sure to see the news story Philips Active-Matrix Rollable Display to see prototypes of this very technovelgy item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Diamond Age
  More Ideas and Technology by Neal Stephenson
  Tech news articles related to The Diamond Age
  Tech news articles related to works by Neal Stephenson

Mediatron-related news articles:
  - Siemens Working On Stephenson's 'Mediatron'
  - A4-Sized Color E-Paper Unrolled By Philips
  - E-Paper By Bridgestone: Ultrathin And Supersized
  - Philips Flexible E-Paper World's Highest Resolution
  - Disposable E-Readers?
  - Sony Flexible Color E-Paper
  - Interactive Storytelling On iPad
  - Flexible E-Paper Finally Coming Out!
  - When Do I Get My Cheap, Flexible Touchscreen?

Articles related to Display
Amazing ARES Augmented Reality Sandbox
'3D Light Sculpture' Projected Directly Onto Retina
Leia Display System - Our Only Hope?
Dell's Venue 8 7000 Tablet With RealSense Depth-Mapping

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