It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day, ye scurvy knaves — but the University of Michigan Shapiro Library too another step toward unbricking knowledge by installing a print-on-demand book machine. It’s another little increment, but it points ahead toward a book-preparation model where we distribute our fictions and arguments in complementary print and digital versions, each with its own affordances.
That reminds me that I’ve heard from several people that they were impressed by a slide from my presentation in Austria — a slide I popped in for the sake of visual rhythm, more than as a point I wanted to emphasize. The slide contrasted the benefits of digital books with printed versions: I suggested that digital media are shareable, searchable, and disposable, whereas their physical versions are durable, artifactual, and ownable. I’m very sure that this should be refined, but I’m also thankful that a spontaneous intuition sparked the interest of some observers.
I mean, “…sparrrrrked the intarrrrrest of some obserrrrverrrrrs, matey!”