Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A New Definition of Reality!

Dr. Sam Vakin, writing in The Global Politician strains to give us a definition of the book, vis a vis e-books, that demonstrates print's inherent foibles. In his desperate attempt to describe print in terms that show it is inferior to books in digital format, he declares:

"Ostensibly, consumers should gravitate to the feature-rich and much cheaper e-book. But they won't - because the medium is as important as the text message. It is not enough to own the same content, or to gain access to the same message. Ownership of the right medium does count. Print books offer connectivity within an historical context (tradition). E-books are cold and impersonal, alienated and detached. The printed word offers permanence. Digital text is ephemeral (as anyone whose writings perished in the recent dot.com bloodbath or Deja takeover by Google can attest). Printed volumes are a whole sensorium, a sensual experience - olfactory and tactile and visual. E-books are one dimensional in comparison. These are differences that cannot be overcome, not even with the advent of digital "ink" on digital "paper". They will keep the print book alive and publishers' revenues flowing."

Perhaps he has forgotten that computers, too, exist in three dimensions, and possess smell and other sensory attributes? It appears to me that his "criticisms" of print are also print's greatest virtues: they exist in the gestalt, the here and now. And, we humans are to be criticized as preferring books because we can hold them, use them without restriction and enjoy them right here, right now?

I'm confused....

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