How to Make a Book Disappear

This perfectly elucidates my main objection to e-books - enabling a digital dark age.

An e-book is not a physical book. That point might seem trite until you stop for a moment to think how much simpler it is, in a certain sense, to destroy electronic than physical traces. There's no need of inciting mass cooperation in book-burning enterprises. No need for secret police or raids or extensive surveillance. The power to remove a book from a device, to remove all traces of it from retailers' websites, to expunge it from a publisher's online record: It would simplify the work of a would-be Soviet Union or Oceania multifold, would it not? It's ugly. For all kinds of reasons.

(link) [The Atlantic]

15:20 /Technology | 2 comments | permanent link

Fire in the Library

Another emerging aspect to the oncoming Digital Dark Age ...

Until a few months ago, Poetry­.com held more than 14 million user-submitted poems, some dating back to the mid-1990s. The site existed to make money: it had ads and at one point sold $60 anthologies to fledgling poets who wanted to see their work in print. But to the users, was much more than a business. It was a scrapbook, a chest for storing precious emotional keepsakes. And they assumed, perhaps naïvely, that it would always be there.

(link) [Technology Review]

09:58 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Amazon e-book tipping point

The digital dark age comes one step closer.

On the strength of the popular Kindle, Amazon says it now sells more e-books than hardcovers. What's being lost is the messy tactile narrative of how books are made manifest and cling to our lives, as "The Hobbit" did to mine.

(link) [Christian Science Monitor]

19:41 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

In Digital Age, Federal Files Blip Into Oblivion

I've been concerned about the onset of the Digital Dark Age for a while now, and this piece just confirms my fears. Although I must say that I never expected that the government, bureaucratic paper lovers that they are, would be leading the descent into the abyss.

Countless government records are being lost to posterity because workers do not regularly preserve documents.

(link) [New York Times]

08:28 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Konica-Minolta to quit photography market

It's happening - film cameras will soon be gone altogether. On the plus side, you don't need a camera to view your old photo's. On the downside, this will only accelerate the onset of a potential Digital Dark Age. And that could play some serious havoc with history and historians.

Konica-Minolta today revealed it is to quit the photography business after more than 103 years.

(link) [The Register]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

The Digital Dark Age

This has been talked about for a while now: this book from 2001 was my first encounter with the whole idea. And it's only getting worse - truly a 'Copywrong', even if no laws (other than those of nature) are involved.

zygan wrote to mention a Fairfax Digital article about the possibility of a digital dark age, as a result of the increasingly short-term lifespan of digital storage. From the article: "It is 2045, he suggests, and his grandchildren are exploring the attic of his old house when they come across a CD-ROM and a letter, which explains that the disk contains a document that provides directions to obtaining the family fortune. The children are excited. 'But they've never seen a CD before - except in old movies - and, even if they found a suitable disk drive, how will they run the software necessary to interpret the information on the disk? How can they read my obsolete digital document?'" (link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Copywrongs | 1 comment | permanent link