Religion Prof: The Blog of James F. McGrath
The Blog of Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, Indianapolis
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HT Marc Cortez
I like technology as much as anyone. How many times have I lost data because a hard drive crashed? How many times have I lost data when I switched to a new operating system and the new mail system didn’t support the old mail system? How many times have I lost data when an upgrade screwed up the old data? I loved Jaz drives for backup, until I discovered that they were the most unreliable junk I ever bought….of course I discovered it after I tried to restore lost data. The ultimate, when the big one comes, a high altitude EMP will eliminate all electronic data storage. A book is a book. I’ll take the book. Especially if a library stores it for me.
Heh. Love it. And I love my Kindle. (I have some paper books, but donated most of what I had to the library.)
I still have my baby book that my mother wrote in, in the late 1940’s. On the other hand, I don’t have my old UNIX tapes, my 5.25 inch floppies for my old Kaypro, my 3.5 inch floppies with my Wordstar and Wordperfect documents and Foxpro data, my old music 8 tracks, and my Betamax video tapes (and Beta had better resolution than VHS – bad choice). Sometimes you have no control over technology, but you have control over your books. Beware technology. Better also keep a compass and a map handy. If a “Dr Strangelove” ever takes over the government, the military can start encrypting the P code in GPS, resulting in an order of magnitude degradation in your location accuracy. Then you are at the mercy of the software programmers of your GPS map system, who may not have taken C/A accuracy into account. Or maybe if China and Iran use GPS to target their missiles. You’ll have nothing to read in the post-apocalyse.
I agree with you Gary – the problem of ebooks is that there would be nothing to read after the apocalypse or an EMP. However, on the plus side for ebooks, aside from weight and convenience etc, think about what would happen if a more normal catastrophe happened – a flood or burglary or a fire at home? With physical books the originals could well be lost forever, but with ebooks, they are backed up in the cloud and all would be well.
If the world’s electronic infrastructure is destroyed by and EMP, we’re going to have far bigger problems than having enough to read, more like enough to eat while fighting off marauders from a Mad Max scenario.
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