Friday, July 04, 2008

Take a print-out of this post..

After reading through all the enlightening, online responses to the question, “What are you optimistic about?” posed by The Edge Foundation, in 2007, I still felt the need, recently, to pick up the book that has been published by them, with the same compilation.

Reading stuff online is all very well, but there’s nothing to beat the print version and the convenience of reading it wherever you want to, be it on a flight, in the bathroom, at work…

One of the contributors, Walter Isaacson, has expressed his optimism on this very point, namely, that he is hopeful about the future of printing technology:

I am very optimistic about print as a technology. Words on paper are a wonderful information storage, retrieval, distribution, and consumer product. That is why I appreciate the fact that many Edge forums are transformed into books, and it's why I hope someday that there is a gorgeous Edge Magazine that I can flip through and touch. Imagine if we had been getting our information delivered digitally to our screens for the past 400 years. Then some modern Gutenberg had come up with a technology that was able to transfer these words and pictures onto pages that could be delivered to our doorstep, and we could take them to the backyard, the bath, or the bus. We would be thrilled with this technological leap forward, and we would predict that someday it might replace the internet.

This is an interesting way of looking at progress, from both directions. Imagine if we had been going around only by automobiles for 500 years. Then some inventor came up with an amazing two-wheeled vehicle that eliminated the need to fill any fuel, which could be pedalled manually and which could be parked easily against a tree, and which did not belch out any smoke, we would be thrilled at this technological leap and predict that some day, this device- let’s call it the bicycle- might replace the car…

5 comments:

Shruthi said...

What a delightful perspective!

maduraiveeran said...

eh ... I guess he should take a look at ebook readers, pdas, ipod touches, iphones. I feel ebook readers are promising, I just hope that they dont kill it with DRM. I am assuming you were sarcastic.

Raj said...

Shruthi, true. I went out in a bicycle today.

maduraiveeran, what's DRM?

Jayan said...

Will send you my comment on a post card.. or tied to the leg of a pegion.

maduraiveeran said...

DRM is Digital Rights Management. It is some sort of encryption that they put around media files to prevent piracy. Buy Pirates still go around the encryption and consumers are left with crippled Media files that won't play well on all devices.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_management