Monday, October 25, 2010

The Baby and the Bathwater


Traditionally published magazines and newspapers struggle to remain solvent in this new digital age. You'd have to be oblivious not to notice their dwindling numbers, when you're browsing the newstands in Barnes and Noble or Borders. Many of them are going online and that's convenient and inexpensive, but it's a loss for those of us who love the printed page.

Last week I read an interview, online of course, where the interviewee whose name escapes me, cheerfully predicted that traditionally published books will disappear within five years. It seems that there's a stampede on to embrace the new and erase the old.


Many years ago on an old Star Trek episode, Captain James T. Kirk was guiding the Enterprise through its weekly encounter with mayhem and evil. Bones was beside himself, as usual, trying to find the elusive cure for the deadly outbreak that was consuming the crew and several small planetoids. Nowhere in the vast stores of the ships computer systems that held the intelligence of the universe, was the answer to be found. So McCoy traveled to a musty library to search the tomes of the past. And indeed it was in a book that he found the answer.

Science fiction may become science fact. In this case, as with many instruments and technologies on the old Star Trek series, we're seeing life imitate art. Well, it may not have been art, but it sure was a fun series. There are lessons here, I believe. We'll need to read them. Perhaps in a book in a musty library somewhere on a distant planet.

And now, judging by my Dick Tracy wrist radio/television, I must be off to see what others are blogging about today.

Question du Jour: What marvels of the present can you trace to a past tv series?

6 comments:

  1. Loved this post, Karen. I remember that Star Trek episode. Who would have thought we'd almost end up where that writer imagined back in the 60s. Sigh!
    Karen

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  2. Remember The Trouble with Tribbles?

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  3. I think of Star Trek too. I don't remember that particular episode that you mention but I do remember a movie version where Kirk is gifted with an old book. And who can forget the scene in the updated 'Time Machine,' where the character meets the holograph image who remembers all the books ever written.

    I loved the Tribbles.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

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  4. Tribbles! I used to keep my (now 18!!) oldest grandson during the days of summer break, and one year was our Star Trek year. We watched all the ST movies and some of the episodes, and we made our own tribbles out of fake fur. Thanks for the memories!

    I think of ST communicators every time I see a flip phone. And there was a scene in the old Bogart SABRINA in which somebody asks him what day it is and he looks at his watch. After the audience has time to laugh at him, he gives the day, and you realize he's so rich and up-to-date, his watch tells him that. He also had a telephone in his car!!! lol! The impact of that scene is totally gone now. In fact, his car phone is so old-school, the impact is reversed.

    Marian Allen

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  5. There's a blog award on my blog for you. Come and snag it.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

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  6. Thanks for some fun comments today. Nancy, wow! on my way!

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