Burn, Baby, Burn Those Books

Julian Baggini wrote a rather thoughtful article, Bibliocide, on the burning of his encyclopaedias (as a creative act). Reading it got me thinking…

The nature of information, now, is fully digitised and transitive – what is, is, only as long as someone says it is, until someone says it is not. Then on rages the debate, back and forth, and “truth”, already a difficult thing, becomes nearly impossible because “truth” is now in the active, public forum, and subject to the winds of passion and the cruel majority.

There are three types of people who live now:

  • Those who knew information as a solid-state thing [an encyclopaedia]
  • Those who knew information as a solid-state thing and know information as a transitive thing [a semi-digitised encyclopaedia]
  • Those who only know information as a transitive thing [Wikipedia]

[emphasis deliberate]

So, four questions for private consideration and consumption:

  1. Where do you fit into above?
  2. How do you think it has shaped and continues to shape you?
  3. How do you think it has shaped and continues to shape others?
  4. How will a consideration of this potentially change your relationships with others, if you keep in mind the potential differences or similarities in how your worlds work (or don’t work)?

I leave you to your answers.

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