Roger L. Simon

The Intellectual Roadmap - heading for Kindle Land

It’s not just the Palestinians and Israelis who are in need of a “road map” (or some people think they are anyway). The rest of us need one for purposes of understanding the unbelievable amount of information available online, according to Richard Fernandez, writing on Pajamas today. Only evidently we’re not going to have one.

Like some vast terra incognita, the undiscovered country of human knowledge expands constantly, defying even attempts to survey it.

Richard is responding to a piece in The New Yorker by Anthony Grafton, which waxes nostalgic for the printed word and his days and nights in the New York Public Library. As an author of books, I certainly sympathize with Grafton, but, like Fernandez, recognize the inevitability of everything digital, even though I haven’t bought a Kindle yet. (Well, it’s only been a week or so… fast even for an early adopter like me. I just bought my iPhone two days ago.)

What’s interesting to me about the Kindle is how it blurs the line of books and digital media even while attempting to imitate the look and feel of a book. Perhaps it is a transitional device. In fact, it has to be a transitional device. Everything is, isn’t it?

(Richard’s article, btw, is definitely worth a look.)