Reply to: lots of you
I really like this thread; I seem to keep returning to it. There's a lot of good stuff in it, even the bits I disagree with. So with your permission,
and at the risk of being a bargy old thread hog, I'm going to reply to a whole lot of you at once.
Did I mention I have the 'flu, and hence time on my hands? No? Oh well, never mind. Here we go.
Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
The problem is that we have become totally dependent on (the internet) for our information. What if it were taken away? How would I find out the
meaning of a word? Or the history of another country? I mean, I have a dictionary here, but I don't have the means to find out the correct grammar of
"whom" or the history of the Czech Republic.
What did you do before
the internet, BH?
I remember what I
did, most of the time.
Education is something I have cultivated all my life--without, I might add, breaking too much of a sweat over it. Before the internet came to me, my
ploughing and sowing bore fewer and smaller fruit. The fertilizer--money, time or energy--were too often lacking.
The internet is here to stay. It will not vanish unless civilization collapses. It will not become the preserve of an elite few--it has already passed
beyond the control of any single group. In the world's most repressive societies, the freest discourse is always found on the internet. I think we
may embrace it without reservation, and let be what will be.
* * *
Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
The devolution of language through the use of text speak is frightening but I think the educated will write books. Why would an avid text message fan
sit down to pen an entire book in text-speak when texting is based on quickness and convenience.
I don't mean to single you out, but why is the use of text-speak 'frightening'? I can't stand it myself; I never use it; but I most certainly am
not terrorized by it. What's it going to do, steal my car and rape my girlfriend?
Are the foundations of civilization to be rent from their moorings just because someone types '2 b o 0 2 b dat s da kSchN?' Do you seriously imagine
Shakespeare wouldn't have typed that, if he had happened to have a mobile phone on his person at the time?
And if you want, well, not an entire book but sizeable chunks of one written in txtspk (ooh, I love that!), look no further than Yellow Dog
literary novel by that most self-consciously literary of present-day authors, Martin Amis, in which one character communicates
(and hilariously) in it. Read it. You'll split your sides.
* * *
Originally posted by Soylent Green Is People
How much of our digitized information will survive the future, or be able to be accessed by archeologist of the future?
As always, sir, you make a strong point.
However, we mustn't allow ourselves to run away with the idea that records on paper, or even on film, are especially permanent.
Most books printed today won't be around in 50 years time, let alone 250. The reason is that paper made from wood pulp contains acids that cause it
to self-destruct over a relatively short period. Books printed 150 years ago, when paper was mostly made from cotton or linen, will last far longer.
You may find this Library of Congress
article on the subject of some interest.
As for film, well, they say black-and-white film properly treated will last a very long time, but I've personally experienced far too many
catastrophes with mould and mildew, fading and so on to feel very sanguine about any of it.
* * *
Originally posted by mckyle
I get a big kick out of reading letters from simpler, quieter eras: the letters of Lincoln come to mind, as do a number of Victorian writers. We are
losing writing as an art form, and as a means of conveying ideas and emotions eloquently!
Speaking as both a reader and a writer, I most vehemently disagree.
I, too, enjoy reading the correspondence of great men and women from earlier eras. But I never forget that they were great; and one of the commonest
attributes of greatness, no matter in what field it is manifested, is eloquence.
Try reading the quotidian writings of more ordinary folk, or even ordinary journalists, as I have often had to when doing research for an article or
book, and you'd be singing a different tune, believe me.
So, Access Denied
, charming and delightful as you most certainly are, I fear I must disagree with you and say--in the immortal words of the
First Murderer in Macbeth
--'let it come down'.