On Beyond Kindle

Screen reading is overtaking paper reading at an exponential rate. Between cuneiform and the illustrated Book of Kells about 4200 years passed; between the hand lettered book and the Gutenberg Bible, about 655 years; between movable type and the computer about 500 years; from the beginning of extensive use of the pc until the Kindle about 17 years.

Now we see in the latest Smithsonian magazine that soon even more incredible uses of screen reading will be at our disposal. To Kevin Kelly, in “From Print to Pixel,” the screen is going to be an ever-more constant in our lives, feeding us all kinds of information: intelligent soup cans? stuffed animals with personality? Kelly sees reading as both exercise and a way of developing a new kind of “fluency in all kinds of symbols, not just letters.” On networking, he says, “The status of a new creation is determined not by the rating given to it by critics but by the degree to which it is linked to the rest of the world. A person, artifact or fact does not ‘exist’ until it is linked.” The article is interesting reading. Let’s get linked.


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