Thursday, March 15, 2007

Power and the Printed Page

Edward Achorn explains why losing "print on paper" is bad for our rapidly digitizing society:
Printed papers offer something of incalculable value: context. It is easier to see how important something is by its placement on a page, something even a newspaper Web site cannot easily duplicate. Often, by means of turning a page, I stumble onto an important story about some topic I might never have clicked onto, or “called up” on a Web site’s search engine.

The elites will continue to read print, including history and fiction, because intelligence often translates to power and money. Books will survive, as will specialty periodicals. But, if our culture continues in its rapid flight from print to digitized information, many citizens will lose the ability to ponder seriously, to vote intelligently, or to understand the world around them.

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