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How Long Will Printed Books Be Available?

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#126 Tony Flanders

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:51 AM

Eventually something like a transporter may completely replace all means of travel other than local.

I wish we could live long enough to make a bet on that one!

Nothing is impossible; the Moon could quantum tunnel through Earth tomorrow. I think that's about the same order of likelihood as practical teleportation being invented this century, this millennium, or in the next billion years.

As I said long before in this thread, many technologies have been displaced -- and many haven't. If you look at the stuff that surrounds you in your home, it's sobering to realize how much of it existed 2,000 years ago, with fairly minor modifications. There's a lot that an ancient Roman would find strange in the modern world -- and a lot that he wouldn't find strange at all.

Plates, knives, bottles, shoes, clothing, piped running water, and so on. They do their jobs just fine, no need to reinvent them.

#127 blb



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Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:24 PM

When the greek library of Alexandria was burned down (Crusades?) all the scrolls/knowledge was lost, and we went into the dark ages, and the west(europe) had to relearn everything during and after the renessaince.

Umm, the burning of the great library was certainly a disaster, but it was in no way the cause of the Dark Ages.

The burning of the library has been blamed on many people: the Greeks blamed it on the Romans, the Romans blamed it on the early Christians, and the Christians blamed it on the Muslims. But the Crusaders is a new one!

As so often, Wikipedia has a good article on the Early Middle Ages -- a better name than the Dark Ages. The decline in population, wealth, and learning were caused by social, political, economic, and military factors.

Umm, wasn't that great library in Alexandria located in Egypt and not Greece?

#128 Tony Flanders

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:32 PM

Umm, wasn't that great library in Alexandria located in Egypt and not Greece?

Alexandria was and still is in Egypt.

It was founded by Alexander the Great and was the center of Greek culture for several centuries, before being supplanted by Constantinople (now Istanbul, in Turkey). Alexandria was also, incidentally, the center of Jewish and early Christian culture. It's where most of the text of the Bible was compiled.

Ancient Greeks lived all over the Mediterranean, not just in what's now called Greece. Countries as we now know them are a distinctly modern invention. Over the great expanses of geography and history, multiculturalism has always been the norm.

#129 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:55 PM

Fifty years ago an iPad would have been thought of as magic. Many modern technologies would have been thought of that way in the 1800s. Back in the Roman times, if someone was flying with a jet pack, he could have passed himself off as a god. Teleportation as we think of it now may be impossible, but who knows what methods may be used in 200 years.

I think printed books will mostly be gone in as little as 15 years.

#130 CounterWeight



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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:14 PM

Ptolemaic Egypt and the library...

there's some in there in a historical persepctive though possibly a bit short on the papyrus to vellum and scribal methods on heiroglyphic, heiratic, and demotic - which language was used were and what for... if I remember we owe our little remaining of 'the sand reconer' to vellum? or something like that...

I think printed books will mostly be gone in as little as 15 years.

That is what a fellow forecasted 15 years ago too...

Folks have so many wonderful distractions other than reading entire books these days... we are in the age of the 'factoid' and 'info nugget' and 'sound byte' I really enjoy talking to folks that read.

#131 droid



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Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:15 AM

The library of Alexander being burned.....it seems no one can agree on who was responsible.


But were drifting slightly off course, of course, lol.
We will strive to keep this as on topic as possible.

#132 Rick Woods

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:30 AM

I think 15 years is a little pessimistic. But they'll get steadily scarcer and more expensive, that's sure. I mean, you can still buy a hand-scribed book, or a sailboat, or a horse-drawn buggy, or a hand-made telescope with a hand-ground mirror; but they're not as cheap or readily available as once they were.

#133 Sarkikos



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Posted 16 February 2013 - 12:32 PM

How Long Will Printed Books Be Available?

Until they run out of trees. No, I guess they could still make books from rags or rat skins.


#134 GeneT


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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:13 PM

soup to nutz

I'm going to do a deep review of William-Bell and get a few more books--while I can. :grin:

#135 Matthew Ota

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:06 PM

Studies have shown that printed books are easier on the eyes than electronic media. I think printed books will be with us for at least twenty more years.

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