Everything Changes: Societal Issues

With a momentous transformation to humanity's views on knowledge already underway, there can be little doubt that e- text will result in many societal changes. From what it means to be literate to the way we decide who has expertise on a subject, changes have already begun. The succession of digital information to the throne of modern communication is happening, and is as important a change as the spread of television technology.

The changes will be wide-ranging. The arts and humanities will blur into each other as criticism and art come under the same umbrella of electronic information (Lanham, 13). The merger of text with graphics and sound will result in seamless digital art that has up until now been only possible through a patchwork of media. Popular culture and the academic community will forced together, kicking and screaming, by the technology they share.

The rumours of the death of print are much exaggerated. Rather, the advent of electronic text is, in my opinion, a rebirth of print. It is the birth of a new medium that will bridge in many ways the dichotomies of printed text and the oral traditions that have been revived by the modern mass media: radio, film and television.

With the accessability of television and the possibility of the specialized knowledge of a research library, the internet, as the primary mode of e-text transmission, has the possibility of democratizing the educational opportunities needed to form a functioning information-based society.

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Created by Jonathan Stade, 1996.