Saturday, February 17, 2007

Introducing the Book

This really spoke to me, and not just because of my Norwegian grandfather. My favorite method of procrastination is tinkering with my computer. I've managed, after far too much effort, to get VirtualBox running in Xubuntu and, using samba, got my Windows Virtual Machine to access the partition with all my data. If I didn't have such a yen for gadgets--and if I couldn't cloak my bad habit in the obvious political benefits of using open source, free software--clearly I'd be done with the dissertation right now.

I should have stuck to scrolls.


Liza said...

I think it says something about what a History-of-the-Bookish program I've unwittingly stumbled into that two of my friends have already sent me this video.

But, re: your comment on scrolls ... I've heard some people say, in HoB talks (when in Rome) that, with respect to reading styles, the internet is closer to the scroll than to the codex. One long, scroll-able text, no way to bookmark a particular chunk of text, only a whole page (or scroll) ... the analogy works until you get to hyperlinks (see JJC on hyperlinked reading, among others). So maybe, with your internet savvy ... you have, in a way, stuck to scrolls? Only, scrolls+?

Dr. Virago said...

Damn, I should've ended my vellum/paper/computer screens post with this video. Instead, I just put a link up to in on my class home page.

And thanks for verifying that it's Norwegian. That's what I guessed, but I didn't know for sure.

As for the computer-as-scroll analogy, Liza, I make that one in my classes all the time. Glad to hear the HoB folks do, too. I wonder why on earth web designers -- and the word processing people before them -- returned to an ancient model after so many centuries of success with the codex?