>A couple of weeks ago, in the aftermath of telling Alan Kaufman to do a not very nice thing to himself, I asked him to name names of the “high-tech propagandists” who tell us that we will be better off without books. I found one:
. . . the techies in Silicon Valley are giving us powerful new tools for telling stories. Scary because the old ways of telling stories are about to become obsolete, and if we cling to them, we’ll be washed away. In the past we’ve all worked in silos. “Print people” had one way of describing the world. “Video people” had another. But the silos are getting crunched together. It’s as if for most of your life you could get by speaking only English, but now you need to learn a bunch of other old languages, and, what’s more, you must then master a new language that is evolving out of the DNA of all the old ones.
Newsweek journalist Dan Lyons is primarily speaking about news-delivery here, but he does lump in book reading along with all the other exciting things that full-time connection to the Internet is going to give us: “these devices will play video and music and, of course, display text; they will let you navigate by touching your fingers to the screen; and—this is most important—they will be connected to the Internet at all times.” Coming from a generation that was always admonished to turn out the light when leaving a room, I do wonder who is going to pay for the apparently unproblematic necessity for lots and lots of electricity. And as for being connected to the Internet at all times–Alan, pass me a pitchfork.