Tablets to Scrolls to Books to Ereaders to Tablets… and Back to Ereaders
The evolution of the written word has been slow. We started with tablets, way back when. No, not the pretty little tablets that your carry with, or that your Apple implant commands you to buy. These were real tablets, made of stone. You had to chisel the words in, one letter at a time.
The upside to all that was there was no spam. If spamming involved the heavy labor of chiseling stone all day, spammers would be off doing something easier, like digging latrines. (Which, frankly, I wish they would do.)
And, on top of that, people thought long and hard before chiseling a tablet – you can bet on it. I’m not chiseling at rock unless I have something damn important to say. Who would?
Then scrolls came along, and people started to write more… a whole lot more. In fact, scrolls brought us the Bible and several epic poems. We had lift-off. Still, this involved a fair bit of work, so little that was written was crap. Besides, trolls were generally illiterate in those days.
Then came books, and people started to write more… a whole, whole lot more. With printing presses and eventually desktop publishing, every joker under the sun (and elsewhere) could finally spit their words out for the word’s consumption. Books brought us pulp fiction, yellow journalism, and ads for x-ray glasses. (They didn’t work.)
And finally, we moved to the pinnacle. Or it will be once we realize it. Ebooks and ereaders.
And of course, people started to write more… a whole,whole,whole, gigalot more. And almost all of it was crap. Yet, here we are with new filters coming in, and curation websites to help us out. Ereaders are the bomb. The good bomb.
People don’t quite see that yet, because many ereaders were dazzled by the next shiny object to come along… the tablet. The name alone should tell you it’s not a step forward. Unless, of course, you prefer video to reading, as most spammers and trolls do. But they suck for reading. They always will. The same way the fork on a Swiss Army Knife sucks for eating. Sure, it works, but you only use it in a pinch.
The quiet revolution is that many people are doubling up on devices, especially as prices fall. It hasn’t been noticed by most of the internet illuminaries, because most of them grew up on MTV and don’t care for reading. But the rest of us adults are buying ereaders. We won’t end up like the monks in the Norwegian video below: