The Final Chapter for Books with Pages?

Are published and printed books way past their prime?

With more instant access to internet news sites, eBooks, YouTube videos, blogs, and Wikipedia articles every microsecond the need for books in print is declining.

Tie-in from yesterday’s post “THE END” for Bookstores & Libraries?
Considering the direct proportional relationship between the reduced demand for printed versions of books minus the number of books that are purchased online and factor in the rising cost of running large retail bookstores in this economy, we shouldn’t be surprised that the result is entire chains of bookstores filing for bankruptcy and public libraries reducing hours (or closing altogether). Should we?

e-Learning and e-Content

Why is e-learning so boss? The best answer goes back to that old “knowledge is power” saying. We have so much knowledge available at our fingertips that we are on the cusp of the most opportunistic evolution of human intelligence mankind has ever seen. This could be very good, but it could just as easily go very wrong.

Have you seen this “There has never been a better time to learn” commercial for the new iPad 2?

It makes you wonder less about why there are so many rumors flying around that textbooks will eventually be replaced with iPad-like devices. Doesn’t it?

Questioning Electronic Sources

Arguments for and against getting information via internet resources are numerous and multifaceted to say the least. I read somewhere a long time ago about how Google is changing the way we think or learn. I can’t remember which… but it’s probably both.

The weakest link in our chain of knowledge is the validity of our sources. Am I right?

Getting access to accurate information online can be tricky because there are billions of sources contributing to the world wide web (which is where most of do our browsing). – And what a tangled web we weave right? And almost anyone can release an eBook or whitepaper. As a result, verifying sources and the currency of the information is crucial.

Anonymous eSources

Think about the last thing you looked up online. How did you know that you got the answer/result you needed? Have you ever accepted an answer as fact that was posted on a forum or even one of those “yahoo answers” pages? Places like Wikipedia are edited all the time by anyone who wants a username.

Compromised eSources

Countless websites (even government ones) have been hacked at one time or another. In light of that how can you be sure that any information online can be trusted? (Ok… so that’s kind of extreme.)

Well Disguised or Imposter eSources

It’s also not wise to just look at a web address and see if it looks reliable because anyone can go to godaddy and register any domain name that is available. I went to godaddy just now and saw that is available. Not that I wanted it, I am just making a point. I am definitely not the expert of everything (I’m more like the student of everything I think ;)), but 5 minutes ago I could have owned the expert’s web address.

Questioning Published Sources

Answers from printed books can also be just as easily proved inaccurate concerning many subjects.

Published Content – Out of Date & Less Accessible?
At the time of publication, content would have been sent through rigorous validation processes by editors and copyright experts. Published content can sometimes be difficult to get a copy (especially older content or content with a small target market) or by the time you do get a copy, the information could very well be outdated information.

To conclude this post I would like to state that I am not partial to either printed or electronically obtained information. There is still a place for both in my world, but as for the rest of you…

Where do you think it’s all going?

2 thoughts on “The Final Chapter for Books with Pages?

  1. Dustin

    as far as verifying information online, i’d think anyone with some common sense and the ability to use Google could quickly verify most things.

    In the defense of Yahoo Answers and Wikipedia, sources are *required*, and if not present can be ignored or flagged. Wikipedia articles are also frequently updated for bad information.

    As far as sites being hacked, i wouldn’t worry too much, unless you give someone a reason to. i mean, who cares to hack some little blog somewhere or a dictionary page or two? even so, the changes would be obvious.

    Books also usually state sources in a number of places.

    Lastly, i don’t think we’re losing the use of books anytime soon, too many people make too little to afford the hardware necessary, too little information is in the internet [can you believe that? ha!] and there’s much more purpose in a library than just books. if anything, a book can be a backup safe from electronic damage and malfunctions.

  2. Amber Whitener Post author

    All very true. Speaking of hacking (which can be said happens rarely when put into perspective with how much data there is out there to tamper with, but often enough even if it is usually caught and remedied within a short enough time span), I am pretty sure I’ve heard some stories about a brilliant cousin of mine who would get in trouble in middle school and high school for getting into school data that supposedly secured…I always supposed that if he actually did bother to do so was probably just doing it to see if he could. Tell me, was it true or just a little urban legend? If there is any truths to it, I’m sure it’s safe to say we’ve grown out of that sort of thing haven’t we? What are you doing with yourself these days? Please tell me something that challenges you enough?

    And about affording ebooks, you know very well that it doesn’t take more than downloading the right reader to view any .epub or .lit (etc) out there.

    I love the library too. In fact, I used to spend hours at the one in our little home town. It was far more beautiful than the one I have access to here, but I still go to the one here at least twice a month or so. Something about the smell. All libraries seem to smell very much the same. I dunno what it is, but I like killing time there… especially when I am stressed.

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