Archive for category satire

My books are all paper weights

With the advent of Kindles and Apps, the single function, single license, awkward book seems outdated and obsolete. I know a lot of people are lamenting the closing of libraries across North America (especially in Toronto over the last couple of days), but I think we can safely dismiss their views as valueless nostalgia. Books, like the papyrus scroll are obsolete. They are unsearchable – even when designed for that purpose, like a dictionary, it takes a long time to find your entry. Text-to-voice software isn’t comparable with them. They are not scalable; they can only be shared to one person at a time. They are hard to digitize or transfer to another file type. They don’t cut and paste easily. If you are referring to one, you have to type in the text you are quoting. They’re heavy. They aren’t sleek or slick. They are hard to brand.  And if you think lectures are boring, just wait until you try to read an entire book…

Yes, the book seems to have been a historical accident. We don’t really like them; however, for so long they were our only real option – luckily that is no longer the case.

Our biggest problem now is what do we do with them? They have filled huge rooms or even whole buildings; some libraries are literally sinking under the weight.

I suggest that we burn them. Not merely for some cathartic release / burning away with the past (to light the way to the future…); I suggest that we burn them to to generate electricity to power our current technology obsession (safely of course…we wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s future). At about 20 calories a page, that’s a lot of Twitter and Facebook posts we’re sitting on. Maybe some schools will have enough power to sell to the grid that they can afford 1-to-1 ratio Ipods for kindergarten students. Wouldn’t that be great…a class of kindergarten students sitting in a big empty space where we used to store books with Ipods entertaining…I mean “engaging” them – of course, we’d have to buy wall hangings to suppress the echo…

I think this is an idea worth considering…we should probably burn “Fahrenheit 451” and “Brave New World” last….maybe we’d even find a way to harvest Huxley’s and Postman’s tears….

Or am I wrong….do books have value?

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