Friday, April 4, 2014

blessed be the soothsayer

Ivan Sutherland wearing his Virtual Reality device (1968)
From: yahoo

"[…] Digital books are still painfully ugly and weirdly irritating to interact with. They look like copies of paper, but they can't be designed or typeset in the same way as paper, and however splendid the cover images may look on a hi-res screen, they're still images rather than physical things. To my irritation, you still can't flick through an ebook properly; you can't riffle the pages, you can't look at more than one page at once. And the advantages of having a book in digital form (easy scrolling text, proper shareability, a global text search of your library, synchronisation with audiobooks, links to television adaptations, person-to-person sales) have been ignored in favour of a weak simulacrum of paper. Better, a lot of the time, to shove a paperback in your pocket. And for when you forget, well, there's still your phone.
     Until a digital book is a magical object which physically transforms from 50 Shades into the new James Smythe novel according to your whim; until you can walk through a digital library and open books at random; until the technology becomes as satisfying to the physical senses as the text is to the cognitive self, there's still a need for shiny, gorgeous, satisfying books. And when those things happen, if they do, we will have lost nothing in the transition.”
— Nick Harkaway, The Guardian
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