Monday, June 11, 2007

signs of the times

I was reading in Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton recently. The author makes what was for me a really startling comment about how through their history books have been read for their meaning whereas electronic communications today are read for how we are able to use them. For the most part, this seems to be true in my experience.

That helps explain how short the shelf life of information on the web is. Use is closely tied to being up-to-date, and it seems that most communications on the web are headed toward a short life of usefulness, and after that they have little purpose remaining. There isn't much room on the internet for what Harold Bloom calls wisdom literature.

Ms. Lupton's book is most interesting, and useful too. The contents aren't organized in a linear progression from start to end but in an emulation of the web organization we are more and more used to.