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- DescriptionThe digitization of books is an immense blessing for the exchange and diffusion of kwledge, enabling access in even the most remote locations. Yet this new techlogy has awakened perils as dangerous as those that reduced libraries to ashes in ancient Alexandria and modern Nazi Germany. The very force that makes it possible for books to reach a global audience also has the power to hold them hostage and even destroy their integrity in a manner that is unprecedented. Author Lucien Polastron points out that the dematerialization of kwledge raises new legal challenges about the quality and authenticity of information. Attempts to create a virtual library are changing the very nature of reading, which has been marked by the act of physically holding and moving forward through an author's work rather than viewing a series a series of sound bite length snippets. The transfer of the traditional paper book into a searchable entity on a computer represents a revolution even more dramatic than the one triggered by Gutenberg's printing press. This revolution is akin to the replacement of the scroll by the codex, which likewise changed the way humans could receive information and structure their thoughts. Yet despite its broad easy access, the profiteers of this new commercial domain may render the very idea of 'free' reading obsolete. Polastron poses questions others are igring in a headlong rush to embrace what is still a very ambiguous future.
- Author BiographyLucien X. Polastron is the author of Books on Fire, an extensive study on the destruction of libraries throughout history, which was awarded the 2004 Societe des Gens de Lettres Prize for Nonfiction/History. He is a historian specializing in Chinese and Arab studies and has also written a monumental study of paper, Le Papier: 2000 ans d histoire. He lives in Paris.
- Author(s)Lucien Polastron
- PublisherInner Traditions Bear and Company
- Date of Publication27/03/2009
- SubjectCultural Studies
- Place of PublicationRochester, VT
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- First Published2011
- ImprintInner Traditions Bear and Company
- Weight350 g
- Width153 mm
- Height230 mm
- Spine12 mm
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