Wednesday, September 9, 2009


This is a huge issue right now. As a librarian and dedicated bibliophile I thought I would not really like ebooks, but I have found that they are great for light reading. Currently I am using the Sony touch screen (great features, grainier screen) and a Kindle. I was shocked by how much I like both and how they solved many of my classic problems. As a professor, I no longer have to carry 6 or 7 books around- I can load thousands on one device, which also solves a classic traveling problem for me.

Most digital books even allow you to annotate them and write notes. Very nice, and I am a definite convert, even though I will always prefer a "real" book. But I have realized that ebooks will probably take over in the next 10 years because they are so functional and easy- and cheaper.

The real issue are these power plays the article I linked to discusses. Everyone with money and power wants to ensure that they get to keep. The one exception has been Sony, which is actually making their devices more functional and interactive with other formats. Exactly the opposite of Amazon's Apple approach: proprietary and controlled. These issues have huge implications for the future control of knowledge and dissemination of information. We have already seen a massive sell out of America's truth corps, the press, when it comes to putting facts and relevant information before the people. Most people think that the Internet will open the door in ways that people with power cannot close it, but don't believe. There are other ways of controlling information. The Obama administration has already backed down from a plan that would have given the president the legal freedom to shut down the Internet in emergency situations, but there are plenty of other alternatives.

It's critical that conservatives and libertarians pay attention to these developments and fight for free markets and freedom of information.

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