The Solomon Scandals
The D.C. newspaper novel, the media,the Washington area, tech and other surrealism: David Rothman at large
A few words on tech, ‘screening’ and e-text—and Danny Bloom (1949-2032?)
Categories: Uncategorized

imageI date back to the Smith Corona days of newspapers, and I can fondly recall a group named something like the Anti All Digital Dialing League. I’ll not bow blindly to the gods of technology.

Within the book industry, I’m rooting for the survival of paper books and especially of the small independent stores selling them, even though I founded a popular e-book site. So I can understand the concerns of Dan Bloom, an American now living in Taiwan, who worries that the electronic medium will change the nature of reading for the worse. In fact, Danny has been on a crusade to replace the word “reading” with “screening.” in the case of e-books and other e-text such as online newspapers. The image on the right is from his related blog.

imageI myself disagree with Danny, seen in the above photo—especially since e-book displays will eventually have true paper-level quality and maybe even pages you can flip. My own little cause has been a well-stocked national digital library system, blended into our schools and libraries—with one goal being to accustom young people to reading old-fashioned novels in the new medium. While I don’t quite see things the way Danny does, I certainly agree that we shouldn’t take it for granted that long-form literature will survive. Consider all the online distractions such as Twitter and Facebook. I want both e-books and paper ones to thrive.

Meanwhile I’ll recognize the good intentions of Danny and others like him, despite our disagreements over details. Last week Danny almost died of a heart attack in Taiwan, and as one who’s been there, I’m wishing him a speedy recovery. Whatever the reason, his blog refers to “Danny Bloom (1949-2032).” I hope Dan can outdo the last number.

Technorati Tags: ,
Be Sociable, Share!

2 Comments to “A few words on tech, ‘screening’ and e-text—and Danny Bloom (1949-2032?)”

  1. Danny Bloom says:

    As an ink-stained wretch from long ago, first as a newspaper delivery boy in Springfield Mass. in the 1950s, to a lifetime print newspaper reader, occasiional Washington Star cartoonist (“Bloomsday” was a panel they published weekly in the 1970s when Mary Anne Dolan was the editor of the features section before moving to take over editorship of the now defunct LA Her-Ex) and spot editorla page letters section illustrator fo the Washington Post under Ben Bradlee’s direction, in addition to a few newspaper jobs in Alaska, Japan and Taiwan, I live and breathe print newspapers. Long may they live! And yes, I also agree, let a hundred thousand E-Ink newspapers on sleek screens bloom as well! We can use both modes of gathering the news and reflecting on it.

    One note: When you said above that …..”Danny has been on a cru­sade to *replace* the word “read­ing” with “screen­ing” in the case of e-books and other e-text such as online news­pa­pers. …”

    Not so much to REPLACE the word reading with a new word or term (whatever it may ultimately be, and who knows, words have their own way of becoming adopted by the culture and it won’t happen until it happens)…but more to set up two words for the two modes of reading: READING for reading text on paper surfaces, and A NEW WORD (maybe “screening”, maybe a completely new word we have not even heard of it yet, but a new word nevertheless) for the new kind of reading we do on screens, and again, not that one mode is better a priori better or worse, just different, and I just feel that maybe perhaps sort of a new word for reading on screens might help us see the differences, but not to say one mode is better or worse than the other. I also love reading on screens: I wouldn’t be writing here, er, composing, er, keyboarding, typing?, here if I didn’t also LOVE screens in my own paper-nostalgic way. SMILE

    {and thanks for good wishes post HA, David. I am getting better day by day. Thanks.)

  2. David Rothman says:

    Thanks, Danny, and I hope you’ll share more recollections from your D.C. newspaper days.

    I’ll stick to my belief that reading is reading, and we don’t need new words.

    Meanwhile may your own recovery continues. Don’t overdo! David

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.