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  1. #31
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    The only thing I'm not wild about is switching to all e-books in the classroom. It's one thing if students have e-readers, but if you have students taking iPads to class, there's all kinds of potential for distraction. Of course, I'm not a fan of students bringing laptops to class, either. Inevitably, the students who bring laptops are the ones who miss things and want me to re-explain because they had a ready-made distraction when they got bored in class. I love the idea of technology in the classroom, but experience tells me that technology means more distraction for a lot of students.
    Not to mention that, when you demand that every student gets the same model (for compatibility's sake), you're pretty much sponsoring it...


    (Would it be naïve of me to suggest both formats could coexist?)
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  2. #32
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle View Post
    I like physical books too, but I also own a Kindle and really like it, as well. I hardly think e-books are ruining society. I understand his comment about businesses conning people into thinking they "need" the most recent technology, and I also get that it does feed into the problematic expectation of instant gratification that is so prevalent in US society. But e-books are hardly the first example of people thinking they "need" the latest technology, nor the first symptom of the instant gratification craze. Both of those things were off and rolling before e-books ever came around.

    My own feeling is that I like the Kindle for several reasons:
    1. When traveling it is a GODSEND, as it seems like I'm always about to finish one book right before I leave, so I have to take at least 2 books with me. It today's world of baggage restrictions, that space is at a premium, plus, books are heavy. With the Kindle, I can bring 10 books with me if I want to, and it fits easily in my purse.
    2. Reading in bed. It's much easier to hold a Kindle up than a heavy, hardback book.
    3. Saving money. E-books are less expensive, and you can get most of the classics for free. I realize you can do that at the library, too, but it's so much more convenient not to have to physically go to the library. I still enjoy doing it from time to time, but this way it can stay something I do when I have time to go there and browse and relax, not just run in and run out in a hurry.

    That said, I do still like physical books. What I think I will probably do now, is buy/borrow most books for Kindle, but if there is one that I really like, I can buy a "real" copy to keep in my library.
    Same here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Oh, I hate these luddite arguments.
    Some people prefer the feel of real books. Doesn't make them luddites.
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  3. #33
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuchIrony View Post
    Some people prefer the feel of real books. Doesn't make them luddites.
    That's great. Tell it to someone who said that.
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  4. #34
    Senior Member animenagai's Avatar
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    OK, quite a few things I don't like here:

    1. What is permanent is not the book, it's the story, the collection of words if you will. Your book, the paper and ink, will not last forever. The permanence simply comes from the fact that the story is still being told within society and so it is kept word for word in tact. In that sense, there is no difference between a book and an e-book.

    2. How is the lack of permanence, specifically regarding books, supposed to damage society? I mean fuck, I can think of a few slippery slope excuses for this guy like 'well, society needs something they can lean on, no matter the era', but anything in that vein is just weak as hell. The lack of permanence here is in fact good for society. Why do you think the e-book was created at all? Because it is easier to access, to store and to deal with than a physical book. It adds value to society because it makes our lives easier.

    3. Here's an excerpt that made me cringe:

    “But I do fear that it’s going to be very hard to make the world work if there’s no permanence like that. That kind of radical contingency is not compatible with a system of justice or responsible self-government".

    O....K.... there are two ways I can read this. The first way is what I hope he is saying, in which case he is still wrong, the other one is what I think he saying and is pretty horrendous logic. If he means that an e-book can be made and deleted easily, making it hard to trace down cases of copyright infringement etc. then this to me is a minor problem that will get better as technology improves. Sure, I can be super sneaky and delete the pirated version on my computer, wipe out any traceable evidence of it etc. but I can do the equivalent with a paperback. I can buy my pirated books from a sneaky book store dressed in a hoodie, I can pay in cash so you can't trace my bank details... either way there are things I can do to make it difficult for you to prosecute me. That was the kind reading, here's the rough one. If he's saying that the concepts of reliability ie. the lack of contingency is fundamentally problematic to governments and their justice systems then I want to punch him in the face. What is important is the consistency of the processes within a governmental system. the contingency of an (electronic) object doesn't really come into it. At most he is saying what I described in the first reading, in which case it's way overblown.

    Ugh, I'm not sure I like this guy. I'm a fan of 'real' books too, but his arguments are horrendous.
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  5. #35
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by animenagai View Post
    O....K.... there are two ways I can read this. The first way is what I hope he is saying, in which case he is still wrong, the other one is what I think he saying and is pretty horrendous logic. If he means that an e-book can be made and deleted easily, making it hard to trace down cases of copyright infringement etc. then this to me is a minor problem that will get better as technology improves. Sure, I can be super sneaky and delete the pirated version on my computer, wipe out any traceable evidence of it etc. but I can do the equivalent with a paperback. I can buy my pirated books from a sneaky book store dressed in a hoodie, I can pay in cash so you can't trace my bank details... either way there are things I can do to make it difficult for you to prosecute me. That was the kind reading, here's the rough one. If he's saying that the concepts of reliability ie. the lack of contingency is fundamentally problematic to governments and their justice systems then I want to punch him in the face. What is important is the consistency of the processes within a governmental system. the contingency of an (electronic) object doesn't really come into it. At most he is saying what I described in the first reading, in which case it's way overblown.

    Ugh, I'm not sure I like this guy. I'm a fan of 'real' books too, but his arguments are horrendous.
    I thought he was making the more abstract point that the erosion of permanence will lead to the erosion of principles/morality, which would seriously inhibit our ability to function as a civic society (I'm guessing some sort of books = permanent, principles/morals = permanent, therefore books = principles/morals kind of fucked up reasoning went on there.)

    Of course, I'm having difficulty imagining exactly how this would happen (specifically as a result of the ethereality of information), but as he's not taken any pains to explain what he means, I'm not going to bother trying to read things into it. It's a fundamentally fear-based, paranoid kind of thought to have, and I sincerely think it's rooted less in any sense of reality than in his own weird, emotional reaction to change.

    It's not for nothing that his "argument" resembles the kind that religious people have been using for a long time now.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  6. #36
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    I can see the arguments for E-books ruining society and i was apprehensive at first when considering buying the kindle but now i have it, i read more than usual and also genres that i wouldn't of considered previously. So essentially my eyes have been opened to something i wouldn't of previously read.

    I don't have to wait for the book to arrive in the post (if it doesn't get lost in transit), read it then allow it to collect dust on my bookcase, then try and sell it at a later date where i actually lose money. But then at present for the 40 odd books i have in my kindle, i have only paid for 3 books.

    On the other side, i enjoy visiting the library and soaking up the quietness while studying others engrossed in a meaty book while i patiently look through the abundance of categories awaiting something to jump out at me screaming to be read.

    As in most cases, it's time to adapt to modern technology.
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

  7. #37
    Senior Member animenagai's Avatar
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    @Orangey

    lol There are lots of ways to read fuzzy logic. Either way, it's not good.
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  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I still prefer physical books. Trying to read long texts electronically hurts my eyes, and whenever I see an interesting text online I often print it out.

    Just last night I watched this video of cultural historian Peter Burke give his take on the issue, and parallels my thoughts closely:
    [youtube="F7EsomTPmfw"]Burke on media[/youtube]
    He starts talking about it @2:25.
    I agree, although I do think that the vast majority of novels and certainly the most popular ones I've read lately arent "keepers" in the sense that once I've read them I'll want a physical copy or be inclined to remember it in any great detail for long. Also its possible to store and access a collosal amount of stuff on an e-reader than it would be possible to lug around the place.

    To be honest when I read the title of the thread I though "Yeah maybe, its aways down my list of things that are doing real harm though"

  9. #39
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    Bump!

    “Someone worked really hard to make the language just right, just the way they wanted it. They were so sure of it that they printed it in ink, on paper. A screen always feels like we could delete that, change that, move it around.”
    Very prescient. I just recently heard about the Clean Reader app, which is used in conjunction with an e-reader to censor 'profanity' in e-books. It smacks of the same sort of thinking that led to books like "To Kill a Mockingbird" being banned because they contained "objectionable language".

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