Original vs. Digital 11/3/11

The controversy over the digitization of original copies that may be decaying or aging poorly is, in my opinion, mostly unwarranted and unnecessary. To me, the obvious choice is to continue with the digitization of these texts. Any criticism of this choice is based mostly on nostalgia. It is true that people, myself included, respond positively to the concept of having the book there in their hands, flipping the pages themselves, and having a physical experience with a book. But what remains most important is the content of said book. It contains our culture, including our ideas and our aspirations. Fiction is a foray into the imagination of the human mind. Non-fictions are preservations of our history.

Now technology has presented us with the means to ensure that this significant part of our culture is preserved. Elements of nature may wear and tear texts, but digitization saves the content. The pros far outweigh the cons. The physical experience is gone, and people may complain of minor headaches while reading from a computer screen, but these are minor inconveniences when compared to the greater good. Our history and culture is preserved through digitization, and the use of less paper creates the added benefit of environmental safety.

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