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Catracoth
03-01-10, 20:29
I was browsing on WordPress, and I stumbled upon this interesting article about the detriment of the digital age, and I thought I'd share it with you all.

A good friend of mine wrote a blog this week about the possibility of printed literature becoming an endangered species. I remember the feeling I had when I realized my VHS tapes were defunct and my portable CD player was rather archaic. I also know the feeling I get from holding a 10″ record, catching its aged scent as I place the needle to let anything from Louis Armstrong to Tchaikovsky teach me about times in which my current form did not exist. While I do own an iPod and a computer, and while I admit I would have no readers at all if not for blogging, I dread a day when books are a rare commodity.

On a very basic level, I enjoy reading for hours at a time. The eye strain and headaches I get from staring at a screen all day at work make me not exactly thrilled about staring at that of a Kindle. What kind of book-burning name is “Kindle” anyway? I imagine they could come in handy for students on a budget or anyone on the move without the capacity to carry paper books, but I enjoy being able to tuck post-it notes in my text books to more easily access the important passages. I’m sure somewhere there is a highlight or tab function on a Kindle, but my compulsion for categorization requires various colours and codes.

On a more detrimental note, at least in my opinion as a bibliophile and history enthusiast, is the impact the “digital revolution” will have on our descendants and their knowledge about our world. Envision this. Some catastrophe causes the human race to thin out considerably, possibly even dying out completely in some places. Centuries later, once the world has repopulated and formed new ways of thinking and doing, archaeologists dig up the ruins of our “modern age”. They don’t find books that speak of our history, philosophies, inventions, and cultures. They don’t find diaries or travel journals. They don’t find photographs of spectacular landmarks, celebrated people, and every day life. They don’t even find paintings. Instead, they find useless chunks of plastic, glass, and metal in various shapes and sizes. Unable to access any of the coded information, a world of knowledge no longer exists. Our descendants will know nothing of the world that preceded them. Our identity will be gone. There will be no art, no literature, and no way for the world to know what we accomplished in our time on this planet. We will cease to exist. Convenience items like the Kindle, computers, and digital photo frames do nothing to serve future generations. Once the power drains from them or the electronic components wear out they are nothing more than empty casing.

Some of you may not know this, but I collect old books. I’m not sure you can call all of them antique, but I do own quite a few of those as well. I care little about famous titles or how much they are worth to buyers or other collectors. I acquire what appeals to me for no other reason than that it makes me happy to look through what children were reading in 1843 or what a housewife may have been taking a break with in 1937. I have learned a lot about differences, and often about surprising similarities, in thought and form of communication through printed word since the days of Gutenberg.

While I have no problems accepting new technology and developments, I also hope there are others who love and revere books as much as I do and who see the merit in keeping the art form alive.

Go now, my friends. Cuddle up with a good book.
http://pearlsandpentagrams.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/the-digital-age-detriment/

Thoughts?

Mad Tony
03-01-10, 20:38
Books and the printed word will never die out, not anytime soon anyway. Didn't people say radio would die out when the TV got big?

irjudd
03-01-10, 20:40
You were browsing the Wordpress blogging platform, or a website made with Wordpress?

Now that that's out of the way... There will be a market for the printed page for at least another 10 years, or until two more generations of people die off.

LightningRider
03-01-10, 20:42
It's a poor thing really. On a rainy day in school where else to go? The Library. I find great knick knacks of books over there (Mostly in the Literature Section, I usually read Macbeth variations lol), I write most of the usual school work. People need to see the wonders that's right there, not what's far out.

I thought I had a point here, but I guess I didn't. Maybe it is gone, I don't know. I'm jsut content reading my Comic Books while drinking a nice cup of warm milk. :)

Drone
03-01-10, 20:46
It's sad that good old mags like PCMag no longer release printed versions, only digital. Sooner or later bits will replace paper who knows maybe in 5 years. Personally I prefer good old books to trendy kindle (what a lame name btw)

LaraLuvrrr
03-01-10, 20:47
Imagine if there were no books... and then suddenly the government wanted to control all digital media which they could do with the click of a button as opposed to wandering around trying to find every last book and burn it which they probably still could not do due to hiding them.

It's scary how intangible digital things are.

Mad Tony
03-01-10, 20:54
It's sad that good old mags like PCMag no longer release printed versions, only digital. Sooner or later bits will replace paper who knows maybe in 5 years. Personally I prefer good old books to trendy kindle (what a lame name btw)I can't see that happening, not in 5 years. Even 5 years ago the internet was pretty big.

LaraLuvrrr
03-01-10, 20:55
Isn't it better for the environment though to turn everything into digital? Less destruction of trees

Drone
03-01-10, 20:55
I can't see that happening, not in 5 years. Even 5 years ago the internet was pretty big.

not really. many publishers are on budget now, digital editions are cheaper

Ward Dragon
03-01-10, 20:57
I definitely prefer paper books. Much easier to read and longer-lasting too. The only advantage I can think of for digital books would be using a search feature to find a particular passage more easily. I hate it when I'm writing a paper and I realize I should use a particular quote, which I remember most of, but I just can't find which page it's on XD

Drone
03-01-10, 20:59
I definitely prefer paper books. Much easier to read and longer-lasting too. and it can live without a power source

Mad Tony
03-01-10, 21:02
not really. many publishers are on budget now, digital editions are cheaperTrust me, books wont be scarce in 5 years time. Perhaps 500, but not 5. Books aren't like audio or video formats. They don't die out when something more advanced comes along.

Drone
03-01-10, 21:05
Trust me, books wont be scarce in 5 years time. Perhaps 500, but not 5. Books aren't like audio or video formats. They don't die out when something more advanced comes along.

I didn't say they die but get replaced. Look at newspapers, who reads them now

Ward Dragon
03-01-10, 21:13
I didn't say they die but get replaced. Look at newspapers, who reads them now

I think there's a difference. For the most part, a newspaper is something you read today and then throw away tomorrow. If it's just getting thrown out anyway, it probably seems like a waste of paper which is why people might prefer to read it online. Not to mention the internet provides free news stories from all around the world and from every part of the political spectrum, so people aren't limited to buying a potentially biased local paper. With books, on the other hand, they are meant to last and people usually keep them or give them to friends when they are finished reading it, so books are worth printing and saving :)

jackles
03-01-10, 21:16
I have family who work in the newspaper distribution trade, one has been laid of as evening paper sales dwindle, the other works six nights a week. So swings and roundabouts there.


Personally I prefer a book..the feel of it. It is a physical connection. I just don't get the same from reading books via digital mediums.

Explorer
03-01-10, 21:19
I really can't see myself using one of those ebook readers, much prefer reading a paper book any day :)

Even printed out a free ebook a while ago, just so I wouldn't have to read it on the monitor ...

Drone
03-01-10, 21:20
With books, on the other hand, they are meant to last and people usually keep them or give them to friends when they are finished reading it, so books are worth printing and saving :)

not always. what if book was crappy and boring? you just chuck it like a newspaper. in nowadays there's a plenty of crappy books (aka waste of paper) :)

but I agree that good books are worth saving.

Catracoth
03-01-10, 21:22
I couldn't imagine the day where printed books fade into obscurity. I dread the day, to be truthful. I can't stand eBook readers--I must have a paperback or hard-cover copy in my hands. I won't have any technology when it comes to literature, unless I'm on the go and I have an audio-book ready.

You were browsing the Wordpress blogging platform, or a website made with Wordpress?

When I said I was browsing Wordpress, I meant exactly that--I was browsing the website Wordpress.com. It was a pretty straight-forward sentence...

Ward Dragon
03-01-10, 21:27
not always. what if book was crappy and boring? you just chuck it like a newspaper. in nowadays there's a plenty of crappy books (aka waste of paper) :)

but I agree that good books are worth saving.

Ah, good point. I usually read books from the library and then if I really liked it, I'll buy myself a copy.

Actually, that's another reason to defend paper books -- libraries. If they get rid of paper books, then will lower-income children not be able to read anymore? I don't expect every family to be able to afford e-readers and buy digital copies of books, so that would be another reason why they can't get rid of paper books.

Drone
03-01-10, 21:32
Ah, good point. I usually read books from the library and then if I really liked it, I'll buy myself a copy.

Actually, that's another reason to defend paper books -- libraries. If they get rid of paper books, then will lower-income children not be able to read anymore? I don't expect every family to be able to afford e-readers and buy digital copies of books, so that would be another reason why they can't get rid of paper books.

I totally agree with your statement about libraries. We need to back up them and re-publish all rare books. I'm not a sentimental one but when I think about destroyed library in Alexandria I get really sad. Just imagine how much of good info was lost forever for the humankind ....

Ward Dragon
03-01-10, 21:43
I totally agree with your statement about libraries. We need to back up them and re-publish all rare books. I'm not a sentimental one but when I think about destroyed library in Alexandria I get really sad. Just imagine how much of good info was lost forever for the humankind ....

Exactly. I think that ties into what the original article was saying about leaving our knowledge behind for future generations. It's such a devastating loss that the library in Alexandria was destroyed, so why would we willingly destroy our own libraries? I really don't think that will happen. Sure some people will get digital books for convenience or whatever reason, but there will always be people using and supporting libraries and paper books.

Drone
03-01-10, 21:49
Exactly. I think that ties into what the original article was saying about leaving our knowledge behind for future generations. It's such a devastating loss that the library in Alexandria was destroyed, so why would we willingly destroy our own libraries? I really don't think that will happen. Sure some people will get digital books for convenience or whatever reason, but there will always be people using and supporting libraries and paper books.

Maybe we already knew about Atlanteans and about those who built the pyramids ...

Now the best thing is to have regular libraries and back-up as servers (if library got screwed they can just re-print books from servers, or visa versa if servers got screwed they can rescan the books). I think all the governments should spend more money on that than on elections of another idiots because it's more important.

Mad Tony
03-01-10, 21:57
I didn't say they die but get replaced. Look at newspapers, who reads them nowMy point still stands. They will not fade away or get replaced. As for newspapers - loads of people read them. Admittedly newspaper sales aren't as big as they used to be but there are still millions of copies of some newspapers in circulation here every day.

I couldn't imagine the day where printed books fade into obscurity. I dread the day, to be truthful.Well it's not like you're ever gonna live to see that day, so I wouldn't worry about it.

Catracoth
03-01-10, 22:00
Well it's not like you're ever gonna live to see that day, so I wouldn't worry about it.

You never know--I might come back as a human in my second life (providing we get second lives, I'm not religious, so I'm open to all possibilities) and I might have to suffer to see the printed word gone.

Mad Tony
03-01-10, 22:03
To be honest I can't ever see the printed word going. As I said, books aren't like audio or movie formats.

Punaxe
03-01-10, 22:04
I don't see this happening either. Everyone in this thread prefers paper books, and while I'm not familiar with any official studies, this is probably the sentiment of the majority. The printed book will disappear when the market for it disappears, and I don't see that happening yet.
The Kindle, as far as I know, is mostly popular by the elderly because they can change the font size.

irjudd
04-01-10, 03:10
Interesting you should say that Pwn-axe, as I would have said that the printed page is most popular with the elderly due to it not being a 'newfangled gadget'.

silver_wolf
04-01-10, 04:06
I love printed books and wouldn't trade 'em for some stupid digital reader, ever.

Sgt BOMBULOUS
04-01-10, 04:37
To perpetuate a quote passed on to me by Catapharact:

And then there was Facebook.

By: Iyer Aditya


Back in 1994, when I was 10, the world was being engulfed in a new fad. It was the cellular phone. We had a brick called Motorola D160. Back then it seemed compact, convinient and quite light. Then, in 1997, a laptop came into our household - an IBM Thinkpad. It was my father's work mule and was subject to constant porn-surfing by a certain thirteen-year old. I got my first Hotmail account a year later. And then something happened, there was a dip in this wave of information technology, my friends and I gave up on ICQ, Yahoo! and a plethora of other things. We went back to using phones.

It was bliss. 1998. We would call back and forth. There was a time when our parents would listen in, and we bloody well knew it. So, we would feed in wrong information and get our parents all worked up and worried. There was voice, tone, a personal touch. Much like writing letters, something that E-Cards will never be able to achieve. We actually remembered birthdays and we would call at twelve, one, wee hours of the morn. There was some romance to it. The romance was compounded by the fact that a compliment would have to be passed on, a blush would be felt, all through the cords of the telephone. A positive response, a negative response, a tear, it would all be crystal clear, it would all be as transparent as air. And we kids did it, we would pick up the phone, we would rob numbers, we would wait for calls. The inconvinience added to that extra beat which in turn pumped the veins with more love.

Of course, time has moved on. The world is a different place now. Just thirteen years have passed and we are able to talk without having to actually talk. Everyone is accessible all the time and for the times they are not, there's always Facebook. Facebook, the tumor in cyberspace that is there to rob the romance off every charmer, only to make a romantic out of everyone. Kids these days wait for their cellular phones, e-mails, Hi5, Friendster and Facebook, all at once. There is nothing special about a phone call anymore. There is nothing special about a letter. The minority that support letters and telephones are slowly changing with times, leaving true romantics in bodybags of lost love.

With lament comes quest. With a failed quest comes dissappointment. With dissappointment comes vagary. With vagary come vagabonds that look for the sign of her passage- a note, a message, her fading scent. But of course, you will not find any of it, because she has simply moved on a different Facebook. [

This was a response to my sentiment that in spite of advanced communication technology, we're becoming ever more isolated from eachother, and meaningful communication is going out the window. Although this may seem slightly off topic to the given discussion... it really isn't. Just think about it.

Dustie
04-01-10, 10:54
I don't think books will die out completely. I believe there will be people who will think the same as the author of the Wordpress entry.

I have to say I never thought about digital data that way - that while it's far superior in terms of capacity, and whatever is stored in it can supposedly last longer without losing quality, it's still very, very fragile. Just yesterday I read about the cinema industry moving on to digital distribution and how it was changing they way movie studios work with film prints. Apparently a properly stored film negative can last over a 100 years intact - much longer than a copy on a digital medium like a hard drive or an optical disc. It's a good point that if we carelessly replace everything physical with digital, there might be nothing left after us someday.


As far as contact in the digital era goes - it's a double edged sword. Yes, people can end up getting isolated, rather than brought closer together. However, the ability to reach anyone anywhere gives us an tremendous opportunity we could never have before! Thanks to Internet, we can reach people all over the world. We can meet people we would never able to meet a decade ago, due to distance. We can meet people of similar interests, desires, background, origin... Dating sites are a neat example. Not everyone sets up MySpace or Facebook profiles just to hide behind their monitor - there's plenty that go out and make physical contact after they reach someone online.