I wish I could claim authorship of the following but I can’t; not a word of it is mine. I came across it while the Internet was yet in its infancy and have kept it all these years as a kind of sociological comfort blanket. One Man’s Opinion
I’ve seen it attributed, but only once, to a Punch article in the early 1960’s, which seems questionable, and will happily give the proper author his or her due if the “Punch Theory” can be substantiated; for the most part this piece and a companion I’ve since lost titled P.E.N.C.I.L. circulated the universe via email.
To my old fogies’ sense of priorities and values the wry warnings of the future seem to have proven true beyond what Author X may have feared. Those apprehensions come to mind often when I’m faced with a crowd, often of young people or young adults while they talk to or text to nobody in sight, completely ignoring the flesh-and-blood humans who surround them.
The same apprehensions arise when I am given to understand they are hurrying to finish “writing” their school assignments on a computer (with Spell-Check, of course) and drawing on the vast information available on the Internet (much of which is of questionable value) only leaving, if they must, their perches to text friends and relations.
Enough of my outdated sensibilities…. for now.
Introducing the new Bio-Optical Organized Knowledge device, trade named B.O.O.K.
BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology; no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It’s so easy to use, even a child can operate it. Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere — even sitting in an armchair by the fire — yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc.
Here’s how it works.
BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom fit device called a binder which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now, BOOKs with more information simply use more pages. Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet.
BOOK may be taken up at any time and used merely by opening it.
BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, though like other devices, it can become damaged if coffee or soda is spilled on it, and it becomes unusable if dropped too many times on a hard surface. The browse feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet and to move forward or backward as you wish.
Many come with an index feature which pinpoints the exact location of selected information for instant retrieval.
A Manually Accessed Retrieval Knickknack (MARK) allows users to open BOOK to the exact place they left off in a previous session – even if BOOK has been closed. BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus, a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous BOOKmarks can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in a BOOK.
Portable, durable, and affordable, BOOK is being hailed as a precursor of a new entertainment wave.
BOOK’s appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform and investors are reportedly flocking to invest. In some areas, entire buildings are constructed to house BOOKs for public access. Look for a flood of new titles soon.
BOOK TECHNOLOGY REBUTTAL
RE: The new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge device, trade-name “BOOK.”
You should be warned that, re: the message quoted above, this BOOK technology has serious shortcomings in user outcomes which, while not apparent from an immediate usability analysis, seriously impair its market desirability. Research shows that prolonged and repeated exposure to this BOOK technology causes users to become contemplative, reflective, and, in severe cases, it can induce bouts of concentration and focused thinking, with common side effects that include swelling of the imaginative and/or analytical portions of the brain. Such swelling can impede market-critical emoto-cognitive functions like the impulse-purchase quadrant of the cerebellum.
In one overlooked period of history, the installed user base of this BOOK technology spread with almost epidemic speed. This period, known in BOOKish techno-jargon as the Renaissance, saw that after the introduction of BOOK there were unpredictable outbursts of individual and collective creativity. But, as the record clearly shows, this BOOK technology has no useful market outcome, in that during the entire period of the Renaissance, historians can find no evidence of a single IPO.