Sunday, March 25, 2012

Digital Age, Dark And Ephemera Age, Batteries Not Included : Print Encyclopedia Discontinued

     After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the Middle Ages, the Dark Ages engulfed Europe. Few centers still provided the collective knowledge of the Romans and the Greeks before them and the Babylonians and Egyptians before them. But there were still books. Last week the print edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was discontinued. It had been in continuous production for 244 years from its Edinburgh, Scotland headquarters .

     Why? The digital Age made it obsolete. The high production year of the set was in 1990. That's the same year that the internet was fully rolled out because of the proliferation of personal computers and enabling software. The digital age had made hard copies of books unneccesary. Actually the digital age could be termed the ephemera age.Because there are less hard copies of books. Note Kindle, Nook, iPad etc. But also the digital age needs batteries. That's a weak spot for people who value independence and knowledge. Without a source of power, digital information is out of reach and lost.

     In the future will governments and that includes our own shut down power grids to control populations? Without power all digital books are effectively burned. We should keep hard copies of important knowledge.

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