Mr. Kierkegaard, It does not have to be Either – Or


Enough, enough of that romanticizing books; books are after all just one method of conveying information from one person to another.  They may be my preferred method, but they certainty are not the one way or even the best way most of the time.  Did I just say that?  Yep, I did, over the last twenty years I have learned to use and appreciate the speed, capacity and efficiency of computers and the internet.

At the beginning of the 20th century books, magazines and newspapers were virtually the only method available to convey information between people and to save the information.   The accumulated information was warehoused in central public libraries.  The read a book or research a subject all a person had to do was go to library and search through the catalogs to find what interested him; books and magazines could be borrowed and taken home for further study.   As the century progressed,  radio and television assumed major roles in broadcasting information; radio and later television made news events more immediate and timely, they also become additional formats for artistic expression.

However, as that century and millennium were ending the processing of information was entering – both figuratively and literally –  a new century and a new millennium.  The 21st century began as a major shift in the processing of information was taking place;  personal computers and the internet had become the dominate methods of broadcasting, processing and storing information.

It is no longer necessary to physically go to a library – we have vast libraries of information that we can search with ease from our homes and offices.   Today, I causally searched for information about a movie, an author, an actress, the history of a Japanese invasion of China and scores of baseball games.  And then I started to wander around the globe, reading newspapers from China, Europe and the Middle East.   I did not have to wait until tomorrow’s newspaper could be printed and distributed to get the latest news and I was not stuck with Fox or CNN explaining, ad nauseam, world events to me.  I can read it for myself first hand; and I don’t have to wait week or two before the magazines comes out with in depth coverage.  I can research any subject I choose, right now in a separate “window” while I am reading a story or writing about an event.

I love books, every day I hold at least one in my hands and read from its pages; daily I sit in my library surrounding by them, taking in their power and inspiration – as much as anything, books have defined my life.  However, the computer and the internet dominate my day and  are indispensable to my life now.   I  spend hours with my computer online reading, researching and writing.  I may never own a kindle; I may never sit and gaze at my computer with romantic nostalgia.  But, however unromantic a computer may be, I rely on mine.  It does not have to be either or, Mr. Kierkegaard.

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1 Response to “Mr. Kierkegaard, It does not have to be Either – Or”


  1. 1 Jonathan September 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    It has to be Either / Or, sir. It is called the law of excluded middle!


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