Monday, March 16, 2009

the kindle and iphone changing the scope of the world

Tony Hill recently blogged about the Kindle and iPhone and how he can read books without even having a book in his hand and SO much more. You can read about it HERE.

My question is how all this new stuff is going to affect the transfer of information 50-100 years from now. For millenniums(is that the plural form of that word?) whichever civilization understood the importance of books was the civilization that was able to prosper and rise to the top scientifically, philosophically, martially, infra structurally, etc. The emphasis on libraries as a place to obtain and share information has been absolutely HUGE ever since the human race could. The fact that the Library at Alexandria burned down is like a major setback to archaeologists.

With all this new technology, what place are books going to serve? If I can carry 20,000 books on my kindle, then why do I need a library? Obviously librarians are already facing that problem because of the internet in general, but what happens if this magnificent giant server crashes? All of our information is subject to being lost forever. Now that's somewhat of a 1984 approach to looking at society, but isn't it possible? Is it possible for humans to become so technological focused that paper eventually becomes completely irrelevant? It's already happening with the music industry, and what's stopping "the reading industry" from doing the same? And is that even a bad thing?

Eventually colleges won't even have to assign text books... or even have class for that matter. With online conferencing and what not. Maybe I'm taking the grandpa approach to looking at the changes in society, but isn't there part of you that questions whether or not this rapid change of social interaction is a good thing? Is the government ready to regulate all of this? Can the government adjust to the changes as fast as the changes come about? Is it possible that this whole new technological revolution is ultimately just going to bring about anarchy?

I wonder how God is going to use all of this for his glory? I think the initial reaction is for us to jump on board quickly and believe that God is going to use the kindle for his renown, and he is more than capable of that! I personally think, though, that this will all last decades, and then eventually people will feel an intense desire to connect with something bigger and more intimate than a screen. When that happens, I think they'll find Jesus. Either way, God will find a way to make himself famous through it all, and I'd love for him to let me in on the details so I can be apart of it.

As a final thought... I don't think the world will ever become MORE technologically focused than interpersonally focused simply because you can't have real sex technologically.. at least that I'm aware of.. unless of course the institution of marriage and sex becomes significantly redefined through this whole process.. which the institution of marriage is already becoming less and less valuable to society.. so I guess we'll see.


  1. Great post.. I think this is a game changer. Especially now that Google and Sony are partnering up on ebooks, and Apple is rumored to develop their own.

    I think eventually there will be a standard and you buy an ebook reading device like you would a CD player. Then you can shop any website and download a book onto any of the devices. (Shop from a computer or the device itself)

    I just read an article about the new kindle on, you should check it out.

    "The Kindle 2 signals that after a happy, 550-year union, reading and printing are getting separated. It tells us that printed books, the most important artifacts of human civilization, are going to join newspapers and magazines on the road to obsolescence. "

  2. He's right about the Kindle 2, the device is wi-fi operated itself and connects to any server it comes into contact with without having to ask permission, as far as buying a player the kindle 2 will primarly be the source or any other device used for e-books however as he also said the apple guys are working on getting e-books started up for the pod and phone systems. So be on the look out.