Powering Down to Future Shock?

Paradise-Wireless illustration

Image Credit: the generous HikingArtist.com

In ” The Future of Books: A Dystopian Timeline”, John Biggs claims that by “2025…The book is, at best, an artifact and at worst a nuisance. Book collections won’t disappear – hold-outs will exist and a subset of readers will still print books – but generally all publishing will exist digitally.”

He writes “a little bit sci-fi” chronologizing the demise of the printed word. It’s a little bit scary and a large bit fascinating. I am no ludite: the cash flow challenge is the only thing that keeps me (and my library) from all the latest technology, but perhaps it was that Mr. Biggs used the terms dystopian and sci-fi that reading his list immediately made me think about possible futures.

I’m not expecting any apocalypse, but I am wondering why I am busting my butt restructuring my library when it will be completely passé before the new shelving wears out. And I have to ask the question: what if, in 2125 the lights go out? Current resources generating all the power we use to fuel the big techno machine are finite. Will we find a sustainable way to keep the servers humming and the batteries charged? Or will one hundred years of recorded history, thoughts and feelings simply disappear into the ether?

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