The beginning of Toward an Aesthetics of Transition conjured up some of those emotions from midnight, 1999. Y2K – chaos ensued and society was fearful that every computer would shut down…forever. We, as a society, always assume the worst. Surely, the death of the book is imminent with the creation and mass production of e-readers. But, hey, that’s not necessarily true according to Thorburn and Jenkins.
There’s a bigger notion here. It’s the people that come up with great ideas, not technology or computers or robots. A great novel is still the same great novel, whether it’s a book with pages you actually turn or a great novel you bought on an e-reader that downloaded to your device within seconds. The author still generated that idea, fleshed it out and wrote it down.
Reading, Toward an Aesthetics of Transition, got me thinking about transitions in the music industry. So much has changed in the distribution of music. Formats come and go – records, 8-tracks, CDS, minidisc players, MP3s played on iPods, and now streaming music on sites like Spotify. Even with all this evolution, people still buy records (well, hipsters mostly) and people still go to live concerts. Technology is only the mode of transportation for our ideas. We as a society still have to come up with original inventive ideas.