In our final installment of past articles from In the Books, we have the opening essay and theme of last year’s magazine. It sums up our feeling that, in times like these, when there are so many bits of information floating around out there vying for our attention, it is important to slow down every so often to digest and understand one topic, one issue, one idea or one story wholly and completely.
The Information Age
The word “texts” once referred to tomes of academic knowledge, waiting patiently on library shelves for aspiring students to discover their rich knowledge and build upon the research they contained. Now “texts” are grammatically incorrect messages fluttering back and forth on cell phones, a new form of shorthand communication.
We live in an “Information Age.” It’s the age of the Internet, a time when sound bites rule and the 24-hour news cycle is always on—it’s a world that seems to be constantly at our fingertips. But it may be that all of these things are just keeping he world at arms length. We’re kept busy just trying to keep up with it all. Where are your stocks sitting? What’s up on Wall Street? How is the housing market faring? What’s your carbon footprint?
Just slow down a minute. In the times we live in, when knowledge is the key driver of everything and “change” is a larger part of our lives (and lexicon) than ever before, we need to know what we’re talking about. When the pace of change is such a deluge—and necessarily so—how do we ensure that that change is not only positive and comprehensive, but comprehended? It is crucial we do so… half steps and incomplete understanding simply won’t do nowadays. There’s too much at stake, too much competition out there. If you want to do business in China, it behooves you to have as decent a grasp of that country’s customs and history as on your business plan. If you’re trying to reduce your business’s carbon footprint, it might help to know what carbon is, exactly.
This is where we believe the need for books is and will continue to be. The information in books is ultimately necessary to understanding our world. Whether it be a relatively small eBook or a 400 page tome on globalization, curious people will continue to turn to books to further their understanding of the world around them, and these people will have an edge.
So, pick a book, embrace it and embrace the world.