"The Electronic Book Burning" in Evergreen


If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
My biggest concern with ebooks is what will happen to the concept of documented "truth" in historical records when any text can be invisibly tweaked at any time via long distance? A printed text, right or wrong, will not change on you, but electronic texts are fluid, especially in the way they are being distributed and managed.

Rekrab: Did you know it has been documented that oral cultures - cultures without any form of permanant writing - were much more stable and long lasting (you could also say stagnant) than cultures based on print. In oral cultures knowledge, or truth, as you call it, was transfered by word of mouth, from generation to genration. In stories, anecdotes, myths, fairy tales, songs, ballads, etc., you name it. Or as knowledge passed on directly from a craftsman to an apprentice. Now if some smartass wanted to change the "truth" by adding his own personal bit to it, most likely it wouldn't take hold because all the others passing it on would drown or filter out the smartass's new version.

Then, when print came along one guy could get his WORD distributed all over, giving the one smartass a huge amount of clout when it comes to changng "the truth". So I don't know. I think the fluidity of electronic texts might work towards tipping us back towards a more oral culture: the 99% smartass junk out there will melt away while the true stuff will stand the test of time.

And I think books will survive. (Just like LPs are surviving MP3s.) They'll just be reserved for the good stuff. I hope.

Makes me think of Ray Bradbury's book / movie Farenheit 451...


I believe that a Kindle, and others, is more environmentally friendly than the resources it would take to print the 1,000 books it will hold, to say nothing of the weight, transportation costs, etc, of paper books, which will also impact the environment. I don't know who is right or who is wrong and maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle, but the Kindle type age is upon us and this technology will only improve with more and more people using them for their reading materials.

But then what do I know -- never been to Grenada (the Spice Island?)


Usually wrong.
Erik -- we're way beyond being an oral culture. I've lived in the same house for 25 years and never talk to most of the neighbors. Most of us now get our information from electronic media - tv, radio, Internet. And they tell us what happened, or their version of it. If they lie to us, I don't think the masses are going to talk it over and figure out what the truth is. I don't see that happening around me. I see most people swallowing the lies wholesale, and saying thank you for the privilege. I agree books will survive, but they will not be center stage in the culture. They'll be an artsy fringe thing and a luxury item.
This site has been archived and is no longer accepting new posts.