Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Future is Virtual

So as part of the Imagine series of BBC there was an episode called Books- The Last Chaper? (this is just a long to some info about the programme, i don't think it's online to watch anymore?)

Yes, the end is near for printed books. Book shops are already shutting down as people buy online mostly, and soon printers will no longer be needed as all of our books will be able to be bought online and read on a machine.

They predict that only in 10 years’ time, out of a group of 200 people reading, only 10 (I think that’s what they said- maybe 20) people will be reading printed books and everyone else will be reading e-books.

Although I can see the practicality of the e-book, I just cannot imagine a world without paper books; to hold in my hand, carry around with me and yes- smell. Which is something mentioned on the programme, until Alan Yentob cleverly suggests there will be an app for the smell of a book…

(Also, won’t lots of people lose their jobs if we stop printing books? Isn’t the government trying to increase growth in employment?)

What I dislike about e-books is that it just doesn’t feel real. If technology stopped working, and we only had e-books, we’d be left with no books (I realise this is unlikely but still). And I love magazines! But digital publishing is becoming more common. What about CD’s? Records? Will we only recognise music as a format on a computer in the future? Some twat on the programme talks about people who like printed books being the same kind of people who still like vinyl- “does anyone actually like the scratchy sound of a record anyway?” YES! YES THEY DO!

“Technology broadens our mind but shrinks our world.”

How many things can we compress into virtual nothingness until there is nothing left to actually touch, hold, smell?

Charlie Brookers’ Black Mirror covers very cleverly issues surrounding the development of technology and the internet. As if one day it will be too much and become self-destructive. (episode 2)

In the second episode 15 Million Merits everything in the characters world is virtual, and the main guy (Posh Kennith from Skins who is so good!!!) is desperate for something real. Will we reach a stage where we yearn for something physical and real as everything around us is virtual? 

                                                         Virtual food in 15 Million Merits

Please not in my life time. Even if it means I am the crazy, old lady with a library of books and a dusty collection of CDs, I’m not letting this one go…

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