Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Radical Change: How Ebooks Bring Our Brains Closer Together

I read a great piece in The New York Times about Reid Hoffman's role as a Valley Godfather of sorts and his spot-on intuition about the fact that all-things-internety are beginning to take a big leap.

I feel it too, from my perspective as an "ebook evolutionary scholar" of sorts, on the eve of this Amazon Kindle Launch, that we are about to witness an amazing uptick in sharing our experiences of what it is to be human. Just as when blogging began and the decision of WHO can publish and WHAT we should write about or read, was wrenched out of the hands of conventional publishers, so it goes with the amazing speed ebooks are being written, read and spread.

For a living, breathing, human writer to write and epublish 10 fresh little ebooks packed with cool ideas, in the same time it used to take their legacy publishers to perhaps publish 2 of their books on paper is stunning. It means, just as the Net has always done, our brains are suddenly much closer in time and space. It means any given writer will publish more, read more, learn more, teach the world more. And that means a lot.

I've been reading George Orwell's 1984 (written in '48, get it 48/84) and had forgotten he died a year after finishing it at the young age of 46. What if we had even one more book by Orwell or perhaps 5?! I know faster publishing doesn't go hand in hand with speedier writing, or that fast writing makes for better literature. Hardly, but friction-free fast publishing, with more direct revenue going to the writer's pocket (net 60 days in Amazon's epublishing model) gives a writer bread and cheese money sooner and more free time to write another book.

All this is great for writers, but is greater still for society and readers worldwide. It will have earth-changing ramifications. Why should it be more revolutionary than blogging? Well, a book or ebook is still the best way to engage a group of people in deep focus on a particular subject at a particular time. You're not convinced? Wait, watch, see.

Sadly, the last place ebooks and digital data will go (and it should have been the first) is education. Thick heavy textbooks, often called "doorstoppers" may end up being only that, used solely to prop open doors of classrooms as students stream in and out of e-schools with their light portable multi-function tablets, filled with the ideas of others and ready to host these newest humans' most insightful thoughts.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.