No Imagination, There's An App For That


I'm what you might call a tech-head paradox. I Like gadgets and applications, writing code and messing around with new technology just to see what it is like. But I also like traditional things.

Like a watch with hands instead of a digital display.

Not really sure where this odd mixture came from, but for as far back as I can remember I've also been like this. A prime example of this would be my collection of books.

Everyone knows that I read, a lot. When I first got a job I think I blew half the first wage packet in Waterstones. From this my love of writing stems, since it is almost a natural evolution of the hobby. Do a lot of reading, get a lot of ideas in your head, try write them down and get people to read them.

So the cycle continues.

But a book, for me, has to be a physical thing. Something that you hold in your hand and put up on a shelf, adding to your collection, when you've finished reading it. Which is why I hate things like Kindles and eBook readers and apps for reading books on your phone. That, for me, isn't right. Music and movies moving from one medium to another makes sense, but books are books are books. Why would you ever need to carry around your entire library? It isn't like wanting to have you music collection close to hand at all times.

In my entire life I've only ever bought one digital book and that was because I spent a year trying to find it and failed miserably. Even then, while I enjoyed reading it, it just wasn't the same. Not to mention that at the time my eReader was a Palm Z22, this is back before Kindles were around kids, and a friend of mine (who shall rename nameless but whose name rhymes with 'Flare') put her phone down on top of the device one day. PDAs being fickle things at this stage the internal memory was wiped, along with the book.

Another black mark against having a digital library if you ask me. Last time I put my phone down on top of my book it didn't erase the words on the pages on me.

But all of that could be classed as the ramblings of a madman too lazy to admit that change is good. You'd be right as well, my views on why books should remain physical and never go digital are my own.

Except the other day I read about a new wonderful app that is coming out. A fantastic new eReader for your phone/tablet device.

You can't tell, but the praise in those last two lines was sarcastic.

See this new app, in an effort to be different from the others, has a new "cool" feature. Books on it, assuming they are in the right format, will have effects thrown in to help your imagination. Not sure what the wind on a hilltop sounds like during a stormy scene? The app will play howling wind while you read that page. Ever wonder how much blood pumps out of a neck when a vampire bites down? The app will trickle blood along the screen until that bitch is dead.

Essentially this app is taking the one thing that makes your reading of a book truly unique as oppose to my reading of a book: Your imagination. Instead of allowing your mind to craft the pictures the app will do that for you, taking out, as far as I am concerned anyway, one of the biggest enjoyments you can get from reading.

In a time when the upcoming generation is being criticised for lacking imagination and other skills beyond mimicking what the latest movie star is wearing they have gone and made it even easier to become a brain dead zombie.

Why tire out your brain conjuring up mental pictures when the app will do that for you?

Terry Pratchett, writer of The Discworld books, was once asked why he never included a map in any of his books like other fantasy writers said. His answer was that not only did he not have a map, rather making it up as he went along, but he figured the only true map of Discworld was the one that was in the head of the reader. So why try and ruin that on them.

Of course somebody later came along and created a map by painstakingly going through the books and taking notes, but that is a different manner of crazy.

So I say, if you vote for me on Friday in the General Elections, I will get rid of all these imagination destroying things and stimulate the new generation once more. :) So Vote Jester! :D

Then sit back and enjoy the ridiculous wads of money ;)


kieran carney | Thu, 24 Feb 11 18:24:53 +0000

Can I vote twice?

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