"print is dead" 1984-20--?

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asked Apr 29, 2012 by mutley2209 (761 points)
In the 1984 movie Ghostbusters there were many memorable quotes one of which was from the character Egon who said "print is dead". Now this was a line written for a character whose both a scientist and tech wise, but this was in 1984, nearly twenty years later is that statement print is still with us but for how long? If you had to place a figure on how long it'll be before 'print is dead' how long would you give it? Given current trends in technology such as audio books, products like the Kindle and Ipad, the smartphone and of course the internet where so much information can be obtained digitally.

1 Answer

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answered Apr 29, 2012 by Cornelia Cornflake (880 points)
Print is and always will be very much alive for the very obvious reason that all digital alternatives require power to be useful which makes them less accessible and more expensive for most purposes and completely useless for others. Whether it's 100 or 1000 years from now the labels on baked beans and cornflakes will always be printed, the noticeboard will always be strewn with paper, and the instructions for getting your computer/Kindle/iPad will always have to be in a form that doesn't require you to guess how to use it before you can read them. In the very unlikely event that e-books become more popular than 'real' books (it doesn't take a genius to work out that you can buy another dozen or more books for the cost of a Kindle with no books for starters!) I still don't anticipate publishers abandoning the presses altogether.

As a by-the-way I don't see audio books as relevant to the argument at all. It takes 4 to 6 hours to listen to a book that a competent reader can consume in 2 to 3. A godsend for some certainly but never likely to become a mass market.
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