They didn't have video in the 18th century, okay, pal?

Jon Lebkowsky interviewing Bruce Sterling for bOING bOING in 1992 (that's like, late 20th cen. shit!):

JL: I recall hearing you talk to Steve Jackson about electronic books. You said you thought that they were just throwaways.

BS: Yeah, software is throwaways. Where is your Apple software right now? Where is your IIe software? Do you even know where it is? You know how much money you sank into that shit? What can you do with it now? Zilch. Nothing. People just don’t keep that s tuff the way that they keep books. It’s profoundly disposable. I’m not worried for the future of literacy, though. Some people think that nobody’s going to read books in the future. I think that’s ridiculous. You can learn stuff from books that you can’t get from video, period. For one thing, without books you’re not going to know anything about the past 5,000 years of history. They didn’t have video in the 18th century, okay, pal? And if you want to know anything about the 18th century and what went on i n it, say, why the American republic was started and what people meant when they wrote the constitution, you gotta know about books. You’re not going to get that out of a Hypercard stack, I’m sorry. And if you know that, you’re going to have something ver y valuable…not just culturally and artistically valuable, but practically valuable. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance. If you put a guy with 800 channels of tv next to a guy who knows how to go to a library and do serious research, there’s no ques tion who’s gonna know the skinny…

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