The musings by Timothy McSweeney with regards to books is something I have thought about often. Are books going extinct? Will my children’s children never know the pleasure of walking into a library and physically holding a book in their delicate hands? For me, an avid book lover, this would be a true disappointment. Luckily however, after reading McSweeney’s research regarding this matter I am not all too worried any longer. One of the quotes from the article that eased my mind was, “In 2008, there were more original book titles published in print than ever before: 289,729 different titles in the U.S. alone.” This means that there are still fresh new ideas circulating through written word which is a great sign for creative literacy value in our society. I also truly enjoyed McSweeney’s satirical representation of the future of books. When he states that by 2070 we will be dealing with, “New brain-computer interfaces will redefine narrative, as electrodes implanted in the neocortex induce stories to form, without the intervention of a third party, as sustained hallucinations. Hence the “readers” of the future will spend most of their time in an epileptic fugue state.” After this reading, it seems silly to me that I was concerned about this matter in the first place.
As for the podcast regarding Amazons lawsuit with the major book publishing companies, I stand on the side of the book publishers. I feel that protecting the value and sanctity of literacy is an extremely important concept to fight for. I know that personally I do not own a Kindle or any other reading device and prefer to hold a book in my hands and flip through the pages as I read. In the Twitter minded society we live in today, a lot of literary value has fallen by the wayside. There are a lot of people in our younger generations who do not know how to use a hard copy of the dictionary, some are not even aware of what a dictionary is. For me, this is an issue. We rely so heavily on electronics and the internet that children are not taught how to function without it. What are the repercussions for this if for whatever reason technology is not working or we go into a state of emergency and electricity is not available? The result is that no one will know how to handle the situation or function without the use of electronics and then there is serious possibility of mass chaos.
As far as the debunking of “A Million Little Pieces” goes, I had never even heard of the book until after it had been discovered to be falsified. However, I do think that there should be more protocol set into place to ensure that these types of things do not continue to occur. Especially because such false information can be extremely detrimental to other people whom the author chooses to involve such as the train accident victims and their families. I would say in general it is not okay to publish a book of lies and try to pass it off as truth but I do understand the authors’ mindset as far as wanting to become famous from his words. Unfortunately in this case, he became famous for the wrong reasons and is now labeled a liar and his work has no credibility. It is sad to think what so many people are willing to do for their moment in the spotlight.