Okay. The Internet will not exist forever. It has changed, or rather its form has already changed several times over. Computers on desks are already passing, though I write to you from one now. But the contrasting argument that books will preserve information is limited as well though the end product may seem more durable.
Each medium affects how we think of them- or rather how we percieve information and preserve it. Or that it should be preserved. One of the drawbacks to history is that we keep repeating it, for instance. Why preserve old losses and hurts if they only lead to repeating them through attempts at redress, for instance. However assuming that history IS a good idea, information on the internet is retained by being stored and renewed in numerous places by people who think it valuable. There IS an ongoing record. It's just that it's ongoing modification is more evident.
Our use of media changes not only what we think about the content of any given medium, but also the structure of our minds and therefore the use of the media. The internet will disappear, but I don't think people, those who have been born and raised in the era of the internet, will ever revert to the type of thinking that those of us born and raised during the era of print literacy take for granted. Books will still exist, but the ability to read them the way we have done passes. Energies are and will be exerted elsewhere.
I'm sorry Mr. T, but I do grow weary of the constant grumble about the passing of the book (not just your grumble) and what is lost. Yes, as a medium it has many advantages. It has also had a good run. The Great Novels have been written. Are more being written today? Would better ones be written in the future if it were retained? I'm inclined to think not. I'm feeling its time to move on.
Not that noir has to pass with it,
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 12:26 PM
Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Dorchester goes digital and POD
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "gsp.schoo@..." <gsp.schoo@...> wrote:
> Because if you had you would find that they consume a great deal of energy and no small amount of skill to put a book on your shelf. Not to mention what goes on in the forest. They consume more energy than used for the publication of your thoughts on the internet.
Yes, but I was referring to thinking that the Internet will exist forever. The energy it consumes is one important factor. There is no reason to assume that people in the future will have computers at home. Why would one think that? Amazon forever? I doubt it. There is also the question of preservation of digital material, which is not trivial. Digital material from as recently as the seventies and eighties has already been lost and/or is unreadable. This is not a minor concern.
I don't feel any need to have a "position" -- history requires no such positions, since things just happen. But even if one were to have one, just for the hell of it, the position that today represents a paradigm that will only be amplified and improved in the future strikes me as a dubious one. Why would one think that?
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