Sunday, July 29, 2007

Socrates v. Books

Discovered the below in Andreessen's blog ... as a consumer of several books each month, and an admirer of Socrates, I enjoyed a few Sunday night chortles. Here goes:

From Thomas West's Thinking Like Einstein:
Long ago, Socrates described some second thoughts he had about the new and questionable technology called a "book". He thought it had several weaknesses. A book could not adjust what it was saying, as a living person would, to what would be appropriate for certain listeners or specific times or places. In addition, a book could not be interactive, as in a conversation or dialogue between persons. And finally, according to Socrates, in a book the written words "seem to talk to you as if they were intelligent, but if you ask them anything about what they say, from a desire to be instructed, they go on telling you just the same thing forever."
[Socrates then went on to say, "It's been five weeks since the book was introduced, and I don't see that many people using it -- books are so over."]

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