Nicholas Carr - February 20th, 2009
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One of the things that happens when books and other writings start to be distributed digitally through web-connected devices like the Kindle (right) is that their text becomes provisional. Automatic updates can be sent through the network to edit the words stored in your machine - similar to the way that, say, software on your PC can be updated automatically today.
This can, obviously, be a very useful service.
If you buy a tourist guide to a city and one of the restaurants it recommends goes out of business, the recommendation can easily be removed from all the electronic versions of the guide. So you won’t end up heading off to a restaurant that doesn’t exist - something that happens fairly regularly with printed guides, particularly ones that are a few years old. If the city guide is published only in electronic form through connected devices, the old recommendation in effect disappears forever - it’s erased from the record. It’s as though the recommendation was never made.
Which is okay for guidebooks, but what about for other books?
Copyright, Blaise APLOGAN, 2008, © Bienvenu sur Babilown