I got the internship I wanted, I'm working within (one of) my chosen profession(s) today, and schooooooool's out. For. Summer.
me = :D
And to celebrate? My very last paper for wired lit. I got an A+. Yess.
Considering the fact that research books are already going the way of the dinosaurs (under the meteor/starving to death in blackness theory), it is not difficult to imagine codex disappearing in favor of the newer, much more easily updated Wikipedia and its progeny. Furthermore, it is easy to imagine, at the rate at which technology is multiplying and tripping over itself to improve and expand, that codex will soon be obsolete. And as exciting as it all is, the little bookworm inside me and much of my generation is crying out, �But what of books? What of your friends? Remember how they smell? Remember how they feel when new in your hands or the air of a used book store when you first walk in? Do you really want to give all that up for something so alien with its wires and electricity and intelligence? Are you really going to allow books to fall to the wayside like the drive-in and the bear fight before them, in the catalogue of experiences no one knows in first person anymore?�
What is important to remember here is that reading is an experience, and it changes drastically with the circumstances. Paperbacks are different from hardbacks and new books are different from old books and the quality of the paper and your lighting and if you�re inside or outside or comfortable or not changes everything about your reading experience. At the moment, electronic technology has not caught up to the convenience of the book because computers are still bulky and fickle and delicate can�t stand up to the sheer amount of knocks your average paperback can take. Because even when it�s beat up and bent and missing a cover and has pages that are taped up and falling out because the glue is so old and used and brittle, the story can still be enjoyed in the same manner it was enjoyed when the book was new.
Technology will catch up, however, when people realize exactly why the new hasn�t yet replaced the old, and then it will truly improve upon itself. Mini screens with books stored on them, hypertext and non, that can be thrown in a bag or stuffed in a pocket and taken anywhere. Durability as yet to be seen within modern computers, that can withstand tantrums and spills and earthquakes and packed lunches stuffed in book bags. Holographic abilities and more to bring words into a third dimension, one that allows them to be thingified to the extent that they can be touched, smelled, heard and tasted as well as read. Children learning to read can learn to associate words with their feeling as well as their look. Hypertext can be extended to link to dictionaries and encyclopedias, particularly within bibliographies.
On that note, however, scroll is just a stone tablet made ambulatory and a book is just a scroll cut and pasted to make the reading experience easier. In this same sense, any technology-related advancement in bookdom will ultimately bend to the will of the language and the reader because as much as computer technology and the internet changes our world and the way we live completely, it is still simply a more accessible medium for the transfer of ideas than the one used before it. Creativity is still human, and thus creative works are still ultimately of the swirling karmic mass that is the human condition. Shakespeare will be just as popular in the literary world as he has always been. Perhaps this time he will be in color and with quicklinks to Elizabethan definitions and history, but Shakespeare is Shakespeare no matter what, and that fact can and will never change.
People are the same. That is the point of all points. People, regardless of class, gender, society, or era, are and will continue to be perpetually striving toward immortality. Style and technology will drastically change the look and manner in which people attempt express themselves artistically, but the ultimate drive is the same. People want to tell stories, particularly stories that will last. People want to impart information that will affect others� lives. People want to affect other people. Period. No amount of technological advances will change that. And that is the most interesting part of living in a revolution, because people are simply trying to find a new way to express the same thing, and generally great things come out of that. Proof will come in the next fifty years.
FIN. 2:36 p.m., Saturday, May. 20, 2006