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Re: More food for thought
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: More food for thought
- From: Ricky Evans <revans@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 13:20:32 -0500
- Message-id: <199810031733.KAA18860@SUL-Server-2.stanford.edu>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: READ THE FAQ at http://www.dreamscape.com/pdverhey" <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>" The publishing industry continues to resist the emergence of the
> recombinant text, and opposes increases in cultural speed. It has set
> itself in the gap between production and consumption of texts,
> which for purposes of survival it is bound to maintain. If speed is
> allowed to increase, the book is doomed to perish, along with its
> renaissance companions painting and sculpture".
This really ticks me off.
Maybe the quote is taken out of context, but it sounds like
pseudo-intellectual pornography to me. There's so much goofy techno-dweeb
stuff in that brief paragraph that I wonder if the author is just trying to
get a rise out of the readers. (It worked here.)
I think there's two main threads here.
1. The idea that the glut of information, and the speed at which more and
more information is constantly generated, will make the relatively
leisurely pace of actually publishing "information" on paper (or canvas,
This assumes we WANT all that information, that we might actually DO
something with all that information. It also imagines that anything that's
more than a week old is hopelessly out-of-date.
99.9% of our lives have nothing to do with all that instant-information.
Faster is not always better. Depends what you're doing.
And of course: thinking of books as simply "static text containers" misses
the point by a mile. This being a Book Arts list, I needn't elaborate.
2. The idea that cultural speed, if "allowed to increase", will obviate
books, paintings, sculpture.
This is just plain bizarre. Unless it defines culture as "majority rules"
and all else doesn't count. So McDonald's sells a trillion burgers, thus
my little handmade lunch doesn't exist. OK.
Computers and increasing bandwidth -- availability of information --
afforded each of us may be great in some ways. But to imagine it's the
death knell of the tactile, sensual, visceral arts is sloppy, simplistic
thinking. And dangerous.
(Disclosure: I've been a professional programmer for 20 years, thus no