Monday, May 02, 2005

The death of the book

Those with long memories will recall the talk in the 80s of the "paperless office" that would result from the adoption of IT. Others, if interested, can dig out the magazine articles and company documents from the filing cabinet, or the records department, or the off-site dead record storage warehouse. So it was with some scepticism that I heard the prediction that e-books would replace real, paper, books. Until this week.

I was typing at the computer, and wanted a quote from Shakespeare ("Rosemary, that's for remembrance", from Hamlet). Glancing around the room, the Complete Works wasn't there-must be upstairs. Rather than go and get it (taking perhaps 2 minutes at most), I typed it into Google, and got my answer.

But on the bright side, it must be said that Google was not definitive: a good half of the quotations were mis-worded, or attributed to the wrong character, and in some cases to the wrong play.

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