Capturing Culture in the Meta-Book

“Knowledge is expanding, but human life remains too short” – Janet H. Murray

Too short for what?  Too short to gain a full understanding of the knowledge which we now have access to.  Perhaps we lack a sufficient amount of time on this earth to answer all the questions that we have about said earth.  Perhaps with this overload of “Knowledge” we need…

“A new meta-book, a navigable collection of books that will carry us gracefully to the next level of information control and systematic thought, just as the invention of print did 500 years ago” – Murray

And as this meta-book is being created it is very possible that those concerned with such technology use an evolution metaphor as a way of expressing their …

“Awe at the magnitude of the shift, a way of sharing the shiver of terror at the unfamiliar rush of mind-power that makes us wonder if we might be capable of outthinking our very humanity.” – Murray

The thought that a mind can become so empowered by new media that it can begin “outthinking our humanity” is troubling.  It makes you wonder if aspects of that outthought humanity might begin to get lost in the “rush” of things.  What aspects might those be and will future generations wish they could recapture them or will they simply be ignorant of what once was as…

“Institutions of modern culture that are responsible for selecting what makes it into the canon of our cultural memory and what is left behind” – Manovich

…decide what aspects of humanity they want to capture in the meta-book and which ones are no longer significant enough to bother with.  I mean it has been said by Manovich that they “are always behind the times” and perhaps trying in vain to catch-up.

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