Monday, November 28, 2011

Digital, and Non Digital, United and Unified


Stephen King’s 11/22/63 is quite an unusual title of a book. Still in beginning chapters, but already I’m hooked to King’s irresistible writing, as I was in his Under the Dome, The Stand, and many more past ones. Maybe some other day I will write about the story when I read the very last chapter of this hefty book. But like the protagonist of this story who goes back to 1958, yep, time travel, don’t laugh, Stephen King always knows how to craft the most implausible story into a believable one, and making it entertaining but also weaves it with moral dilemma, the good, the bad and the ugly, just like Clint Eastwood in his Western movies, perhaps a few degrees more intensity, but again just like this time traveling protagonist, I felt so antiquated not adopting the electronic version of book reading earlier. Such an instant gratification! You click just one button, and bam! The book is auto delivered within a few seconds in all the possible devices one may possess, phone, pc, e-reader, tablet, laptop, etc. The cloud computing is in its full galore. And I thought, so boisterously, that I have seen, and used all the high tech gadgets, felt the power of its incalculable variations. So naive those self congratulatory assertions were! 

A Kindle can store 3500 books in only mere few ounces of weight, thin, can carry in a pocket. What will happen to all those books nicely decorating my bookshelf? What will happen to existence of very bookshelf? Not sure whether I will favour one or other, still love the feelings of holding a book in my hand, its texture, flipping the real pages. But the other day, I loved the super convenience turning an electronic book’s pages using google reader on a phone. It also seems that electronic book may have an advantage over the traditional books because of its potential of eliminating the need of chopping countless trees for paper.

World is indeed changing. Moore’s law, Ray Kurzweil’s exponential growth law, all point to a world, very possibly and strikingly so dissimilar to our known world, where the good, the bad and the ugly characters of Clint Eastwood’s classic movies, or Stephen King’s science fiction centric protagonists and antagonists, duelling each others, just like the real world’s violence, but in the pages of fiction, where though a skilful writer like Stephen King or Cormac McCarthy or Barbara Kingsolver or Ian McEwan or John Banville or Jhumpa Lahiri or Julian Barnes can vividly portray blood cuddling or a soothing scenario with their masterful usages of economic words and sentences, but the splendour and the very real revolutionary changes in progress in many parts of this known world (and not Edward P. Jones’), may still be written by invisible ink of non digital agonies and dreams for a democratic and equitable world.

Digital, and non digital, united and unified. Now that’s the food for thoughts in this late night of an approaching winter, when the shivering cold and chill cannot stop the progression of humanity. Perhaps, there is nothing to fear about that world to come. Steven Pinker said so in The Better Angels of Our Nature, and it very well is possible.

11/22/63. Here I come.

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