04 December, 2020

Dog-eared Floppy Disks, Anyone?

When humankind opens a new door, it does not necessarily close all the others. All the medical triumphs of this century have not wiped out alternative medicine, instant and processed food has not taken away the pleasure of fresh food, nor have speedy

Dog-eared Floppy Disks, Anyone?

The end of a century is certainly a significant moment in human history: a marker for historians, a time of introspection for humanity and of excitement for individuals. But the hysteria that is gathering round the end of this century, the end of the millennium as it is wrongly considered to be, goes beyond the thrill of standing on the cusp between two centuries. One senses in it the echo of a fear of facing a deep abyss. As if what lies ahead is the dark unknown. As if from this point nothing will ever be the same. Which is why as a writer I am put in the position of defending the future, not of literature, but of the printed word itself. Will the printed word survive the onslaught of the electronic medium? Will this make it redundant?

To be fair, the pace of change and its comprehensiveness makes this fear valid. And, considering the fact that printing itself was a revolution that displaced other things, it seems logical that it, in turn, will have to give way to something else. If my son in the US can read the Bangalore paper almost at the same time as my son in...



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