Bullshit like this …


… is why I still resist eBooks. Lately I’ve been thinking it might be time to give a kindle or a Nook a whirl, live in the future and all that. But the fact is, you don’t own a fucking thing when you ‘buy’ one of these books, so fuck that.


  1. Elisabeth Black

    Sometimes I think I hate the future. But I’m weird like that.

  2. J M Hardy

    The problem with “the future” in this context and many others, is that while what we perceive to be time itself has a present in which things happen, a past in which things have happened and a future in which things we may assume will happen, “the future” in terms of the way humans often look at it probably doesn’t exist. We see ourselves as following some sort of j-curve when we’re talking about “our” future, where we keep going up and up into infinity—and I am left thinking about the Tower of Babel, and about the fact that our sordid history does not support this mythical j-curve. Perhaps that’s why we obsess over devices. Certainly we’ve followed a j-curve in terms of certain technological achievements—-but these superficial gimcracks are ultimately subordinate to more important aspects of our shared existence which have at the best stayed the same, and at the worst have degraded horribly.
    The “e-readers” are a great idea, stripped of all societal, cultural and human-historical context, in order to have easy access to books by way of a reading device which can store an entire library in the palm of one’s hand. Put those necessary contexts back in however, and it is a bad, bad idea, which will see future censorships, and the death of actual literature in general, to name just two inevitable outcomes. Like an iPod with 20,000 songs on it, the e-readers seem to be developing more and more into a device to display to others a superficial status of “having” something—while most of it is probably less read than 19, 899 of the 20,000 songs on the iPod are actually listened to. It’s like some weird collector fetish which after awhile disregards the inherent value of the thing being collected in favor of the quantity of the thing collected and nothing else.
    Yeah, it’s a long comment, but I’m not a habitual comment-leaver, so here’s a two-year supply.
    E-readers will eventually spell the end of the publishing industry and will end the careers of many authors and the possibility of publication in order to make a living or supplement a living for many new authors. We will instead all collect hundreds of paint-by-the-numbers sequels to a series of mind-numbingly idiotic adventure books written by a program based on the brain of James Patterson and owned by the Monsanto/Amazon Conglomerate. Non-fiction will be overseen by the digitized brain of a cow which was genetically altered during its original, carbon-based life to be able to read Stephanie Meyer novels through eating Monsanto/Amazon corn. History, biographies and cookbooks will feature clipped, third-rate sentence structure and lots of teenage ennui and overdramatic sexual tension—even in cookbooks and histories of the Polynesian islands—which will only be awkward as long as there is someone capable of reading them instead of just collecting them, which there won’t be.
    I expect the future, in human terms, to not be so far removed from an Avery Cates novel.

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