Changing Times : Blogito Ergo Sum
Socrates famously voiced his scepticism about the new invention of writing, arguing that it would be catastrophic for the memory.
And ever since, purists have regularly lamented the deterioration of thought, including its depiction in the art of the scribbler, with the advent of each new name, style, form and medium.
However, even as doomsday has continued to loom large, and obituaries have been scripted thick and fast, the pen has continued on its march, growing in stature along the way to become mightier than the sword.
Now the plume is passé, ink a fast disappearing stain of the overturned past. Thoughts – literary, philosophical, artistic and scientific – are produced by the tapping of keys, shared with clicks of the button and the mouse, or the flick of a thumb over tactile touch-screens. Traditional publishing persists, but their ivory towers are being rapidly circumvented by the tentacles of the fibre optic cables. Debates rage on about the quality of writing that is produced. Are the blogs submerging the human creative endeavours in an ocean of mediocrity, or are the electronic editions essential channels for talented voices to make themselves heard from beyond the barricading nexus of the agents, middlemen and the publishing world?
Entertainment has also evolved, and rapidly mutated in recent times. Staring with the music halls, bioscope, phonograph, celluloid, they have trespassed past the sensory thresholds through audio CDs, DVDs, iMax, BlueRay, iPod and the all in one package that is the internet, each one of them seeking the eyes that had once followed words printed across published pages. Is human thought becoming secondary in the pathological primary pursuit of communication? With sensory delighters spreading their many splendored web around every individual, is it possible for something as plain vanilla as mere words on paper or screen to survive the avalanche of information?
However, we believe that the truth is simple.
Thoughts will continue to torment the minds of the creative – smouldering souls, seeking outlets. Technology will continue to evolve and people will definitely shift the two thousand volume fifteen hundred square metre, four thousand kilogram libraries to a sleek, slim and shiny portable eReader.
Hence, this is a forum to present literary thoughts over the tools of Web 2.0, available to every admiring adherent of the written word, baring the bosom to invite cuts, thrusts and the deadliest lashes of all who care to read.
And in the launching issue, our articles specifically focus on some of the so called lesser channels of entertainment media and wonder whether or not they too play a major role in the evolution of human consciousness.
Arunabha Sengupta is the co-editor of Scroll and the author of three novels, the latest being The Best Seller