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Amazon Replaces the Wheel

I foolishly thought I was on vacation this week.  I was quietly sitting by the fire in my mother’s house in Connecticut, trying to ignore the howling winds outside, when I came across a Newsweek interview with my latest nemesis, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com. I would like to share the following excerpt from the end of the interview to illustrate, yet again, why Mr. Bezos is the antichrist (see below).  I’m not sure what to say about his theory, except that it makes me sad, even if I think he’s wrong. Is the world a better place and are we really going to be a better society without printed books like the Gutenberg Bible, Carl Jung’s The Red Book, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, or Cartier-Bresson’s The Man, the Image, and the World?

Newsweek:  Do you think that the ink-on-paper book will eventually go away?

Bezos:  I do. I don’t know how long it will take. You know, we love stories and we love narrative; we love to get lost in an author’s world. That’s not going to go away; that’s going to thrive. But the physical book really has had a 500-year run. It’s probably the most successful technology ever. It’s hard to come up with things that have had a longer run. If Gutenberg were alive today, he would recognize the physical book and know how to operate it immediately. Given how much change there has been everywhere else, what’s remarkable is how stable the book has been for so long. But no technology, not even one as elegant as the book, lasts forever.

NW:  Do you still read books on paper?

Bezos:  Not if I can help it.

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One comment on “Amazon Replaces the Wheel

  1. Anonymous
    January 10, 2010

    Seth, please note:

    Introducing the new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge device, trade named
    BOOK.

    BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no
    electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on.
    It's so easy to use, even a child can operate it.

    Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere — even sitting in an
    armchair by the fire — yet it is powerful enough to hold as much
    information as a CD-ROM disc. Here's how it works:

    BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper
    recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information.

    The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder
    which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. Opaque Paper
    Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet,
    doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are divided
    on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now,
    BOOKS with more information simply use more pages.

    Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into
    your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet.

    BOOK may be taken up at any time and used merely by opening it.

    BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, though like other display
    devices it can become unusable if dropped overboard. The “browse”
    feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward or
    backward as you wish. Many come with an “index” feature, which
    pin-points the exact location of any selected information for instant
    retrieval.

    An optional “BOOKmark” accessory allows you to open BOOK to the exact
    place you left it in a previous session — even if the BOOK has been
    closed.

    BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus, a single BOOKmark can be
    used in BOOKs by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous BOOK
    markers can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous
    views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in the
    BOOK.

    You can also make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with an
    optional programming tool, the Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic
    Intercommunication Language Stylus (PENCILS).

    Portable, durable, and affordable, BOOK is being hailed as a precursor
    of a new entertainment wave. Also, BOOK's appeal seems so certain that
    thousands of content creators have committed to the platform and
    investors are reportedly flocking. Look for a flood of new titles soon.

    Best regards,

    Ted

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This entry was posted on January 5, 2010 by in http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, Kindle.
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