Saturday, December 17, 2011
Will E-Books Destroy the Democratizing Effects of Reading?
Will E-Books Destroy the Democratizing Effects of Reading?, article.
Imagine Abraham Lincoln, born in a log cabin, raised in poverty, self-taught from a small cache of books, being stymied in his early education by the lack of an e-reader.
This is not an intelligent article, and not worthy of such a publication as MIT's Technology Review in my humble opinion (as humble as I can be, not much admittedly).
Obviously there will be many movements to educate children in poor areas, and of course prices will continue to fall, but even if prices did not continue to fall, even today it costs far less to provide a child with a devices which gives access to so much education from the web, free video, out-of-copyright ebooks, etc, than it would cost to provide them with even one-thousandth of such material in printed form, which has to be produced, handled, and shipped, and administrated.
UPDATE: Bruce wrote:
...in my High School people who took Math and Physics carried sliderules around with them - except for the wealthy few who had the hot new gadget of the day - The TI electronic calculator you could wear on your belt.
One morning, well before I graduated from college, I poured myself a bowl of cereal. A very small electronic calculator, sealed in plastic, came out of the box along with my cereal. It was free, and was included in many cereal boxes, not just mine.
If you can imagine Abe Lincoln, a few years from now, being able to afford cereal for breakfast, then he could still be President.
I didn't know that calculators became that cheap that early. But certainly the Kindle has dropped from almost $500 to $80 in four years, so a thing like that is already teetering on the edge of a throw-away object. And I can easily imagine projects like One Laptop Per Child getting donations for big productions, getting prices down to maybe $20 per child/device within a couple of years, if not now. That's the price of one hardcover book, but the device would have access to several million free ebooks just for starters.