The Remains of Print


The Post is now under new ownership. So is the iconic Newsweek. Both incidentally got taken over by jungle-like entities like Amazon and the Beast, respectively. New world order (or jungle order). The “barbarians” are once again at the gate.

New totem pole. New titanic shift, from analog to digital, from print to online.

I prefer to see this change-over than seeing the Washington Times taken over by  a then cultic figure (Moon).

Big play. Big players. The game of influence. of Soft Powers and soft-wares.

It’s the other shoe that drops (from the time of the Reformation, with the advent of the printing press).

Back then, it was the free circulation of the Bible among the mass ( oral and scribal tradition).  Now, it’s the viral popularity of an Islamic scholar studying the life of a “political”  Jesus

With Al Jazeera (the other CNN) and Amazon, we got the complete set of opinion leaders for our world.

Want to know something? go on Wikipedia.

Want to hear something? plenty of cable channels.

Want to buy something? go on Amazon.com.

Jeff was telling interviewers that his favorite book was “the Remains of the Day” (about a butler who saw the change or more likely, the decline of aristocracy in the West).

Now, he finds himself amidst another real-life decline, a paradigm shift. And all that remains of print are those Google’s scanned pages (our modern equivalent of microfiche) for researchers of historical facts.

We process information differently. In print, we interact with those fonts and we turn the pages.

Online, we are glued to the screen, and before we know it, we might click on porn pages.

Just one of the many differences.

As creatures, we have yet learned how to handle the beast.

Massive inflow of content. Sheep among wolves.

Sleepy eyes and desensitized filters.

7 billion souls, one web site (Google).

We search that which reinforces our prejudice (a priori), or when lazy, let the SEO bots dictate what we are exposed to.

All that remains are stove-pipe thinking. More alliances and armed comrades are formed. But less in original thinking.

We need another generation or two before we can handle this new change (by then, it’s a new norm).

No more memoirs in print. Just sensational up-to-the-minute expose on celebrity and consumerism.

Those who have built good “filter” will become great curators of this new information explosion.

Those who don’t, won’t.

The new divide (information gap) won’t be geographical. It will be content-rich and content-poor folks.

The the twain shall never meet.

All that remains are for the brokers to exploit, and the pipe deliverers to profit in this new “jungle” whose sole law is survival of the smartest.

In this post-print environment, we need to say farewell to prejudices. We need to learn to be childlike, to soak in new and uncomfortable piece of news. To be changed and change-agent. It will be a tearful farewell to “home”, where each morning we expect to see sunrise and newspaper delivered on the front lawn. All that remains is a new You, with all the changes in one’s life time, more than our great grandparents and later generations have ever experienced.

That’s how important this tectonic shift is. It’s a bookend to a long overdue, but necessary re-structuring: modernity and progress.

 

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