Friday, April 16, 2010

Bye Bye Book?

There's a new technology out there that most likely will make books forever obsolete. It's called a Kindle. It's sort of like an i-Pod for the book. You can buy and download copies of books online for it--and then read without having to turn any pages. Yet in my opinion, this sounds rather impersonal. I can't picture parents reading their children a bedtime story from a Kindle--although I've been told that they download illustrations too.

The novel first emerged during the Renaissance. It's form embodied the middle class and it has dominated society for the last 400 years or so. In general, the novel contains a main character and a plot and it linear. That means that it includes a beginning and an end.The linear novel is also a way of thinking about the world,yourself, and your life. The novel itself represents your life, and what plans are in store for you. The main charater of the novel is you and the plot is your life.
However, it seems as if we may soon abandon the book. Technologies are never neutral as they contain ways of living and thinking. While linear text represents one type of living and understanding, hypertext is that of a dynamic language. Unlike the typical novel, it is non-linear. There is no beginning, and no end. In a way, it's much like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Compared to the containment of linear text, hypertext is quite complex. Through hypertext, life looks nothing like you thought it would. Hypertext is fluid and full of contingency and indeterminacy. It changes right before your very eyes. What you thought was one thing, is suddenly another. Hypertext wouldn't just lead to the end of books, but also allow us to save trees.Here's a link about the Kindle possibly making books obsolete.

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