The Death of The Book
How much longer are we going to put up with books? I wonder the percent of information we are receiving from hyperlinked sources vs. paper sources these days. It’s surely on an upward climb. From an online text I can immediately spawn innumerable side searches and it’s trivial to search for a word or phrase within the text. Google is archiving the World’s books, and Amazon has its search-within-the-book feature. Books and hypermedia are converging somehow. I find myself stymied more and more often while reading a book by the lack of a search button, ‘now what was that guy’s name?’ or, ‘wait, what does that acronym mean?’I remember reading about the process of developing new/replacement technologies. First you get the ‘pretender’ that kind of replaces a few things, but still has many disadvantages. Then you get the killer-app replacement. So cassette tapes, were the pretender replacement, while CDs were the true replacement for the vinyl record. Ah, it was The Singularity is Near, Kurzweil, which I found in my outboard brain here. Seeing the title on my booklist, and suspecting that this is where I could find this discussion, I followed the link to Amazon where I ‘searched inside’ the book for ‘pretender.’ I’d never have found this without being able to search. “Where in the life cycle is the book? ….The false pretender is the eBook.” I want to be able to spawn ghosts like in Stross’s Accelerando.Basically, I’ve been annotating the books I’m reading here. Mostly I pull from links to other information; the sources mentioned by the author. While I’m reading one [paper] book, I can’t simply click a link to view the source, so I make a note of it to look at later. Ah, but there’s just something about being able to dog-ear a page for later….
Entry filed under: feed my pet brain.