I just took a few minutes to comment on Google+ concerning the immanent demise of all books from the world in which we live. The discussion topic was provocative on purpose to generate discussion, which in this case it did, at least from me.
I don’t understand the this is new and old stuff is going to completely go away approach. At best it means that we’re letting morons and idiots have far too much public airtime and at worst it means people are intentionally providing false analysis to a) scare people b) make themselves seem brighter c)gin up more business.
I’m not that old and I’m certainly not that experienced (in fact I feel like I know less today than I did five years ago) so I don’t know if we’ve always had the chicken little sky is falling from experts problem or if it’s relatively new. As a guess, it’s always been around but thanks to blogs (like this one), Twitter, Facebook and even email it’s just easier to get the conversation going. I’ll assume we just allow this type of thinking – very binary – to get out and to more people more easily these days.
And I know that charlatans have been selling bullshit since humans were playing with round-rock 1.0.
Thinking about it, it’s not that people are saying ignorant half-truths that bothers me. It’s that a lot of people take those comments and then amplify them.
Are paper books going way?
Some “expert” says that they’re going away. Then a bunch of light-weight thinking parrots say the same thing via Twitter and in their own communication forums so people who have never even thought about the issue then think about it. It must be true because, M said so.
Then general person in the meeting / on the street tells their friends who answer questions from a survey company that gets to report that a majority of people think that paper books are declining.
I think the same light-weight thinking is going into the immanent demise of desktop computers. They’re not going away, the market is just segmenting. People who would normally need to buy the HP Crapware 5000 with additional unneeded accessories so they can send emails to their kids are just buying iPads. iPad sales go up (and all other tablets, I guess) while the sales of Crapware 5000s go down.
But, it doesn’t mean desktops are going away. It just means their percentage of sales will decline until a) someone gets them to startup faster b) machines not made by Apple aren’t pieces of shit.
Battle axes never left the market, they’re just less popular, nor have horse saddles disappeared completely despite the fact that horse transportation marketshare has declined considerably since the late 1800s. So if these “old technologies” are still around, why does any expert think that books and desktop computers are completely gone?
As a guess, it’s because that extreme view works better in 140 characters and makes for a better sounding presentation.