The Coming Storm: Digital Text Replaces Print & Digital Reading Replaces Print Reading
Internet-based text, once created and "published" to the World-Wide Web, is inherently unstable: it can be changed by the owner, hacked by an intruder, changed by a system administrator, censored by a government, or completely unavailable because of high web traffic, server maintenance or crash, a changed URL, a virus or trojan horse program controlling your browser, power failure anywhere between you and the server, and naturally occurring or human-caused electro-magnetic pulse (EMP). Printed paper text, seemingly so fragile, can remain readable longer than any digital document yet created. Just think about what has to work correctly to make a digital text legible.
Gresham's Law and Internet Media: derived from an economic principle describing monetary policy, this rule states that the cheaper, worse constructed and worse curated text, will displace use of the more expensive, better constructed, better curated text. For example, between 1995 and today, the "Moby Shakespeare"'s 1866 Globe Edition crowded out all other online Shakespeare texts. Most students would rather read a free online text, regardless of its origins or quality, than a printed text. No copyright + free availability = ubiquity/wide-use; copyright+pay-per-view = exclusivity/neglect.
Library and Personal Readership Replacement of Print Text by
Digital Text: Lisa Rein, "Hello, Grisham--So Long, Hemingway?: With Shelf
Space Prized, Fairfax Libraries Cull Collections," The Washington Post,
1/2/07: A01 [see Blackboard "Course Documents"]; Monica Hesse, "Truth: Can You Handle It?,"
The Washington Post, 4/28/08, M1, M8
[See Blackboard "Course Documents"]. Online article: Ralf Schneider, "Hypertext Narrative and the Reader: A View from
Cognitive Theory," European Journal of English Studies, 9:2 (August 2005)
197-208 (Available online at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=17980481&
Faking the Internet Library's Contents: Culler & Mailloux--writers anticipate readers' behavior and design their works to engage it, hence, your online searches are corrupted before you execute them: Two Major Ways Web Site Operators Cheat to Raise Their Google Page-Ranks
Arnie's Confession--Print vs. Digital Surrogates / Editions vs. Manuscripts:
Dickinson's Poem: the poem you interpreted, AKA, "XVI," the poem in Johnson's Critical Edition, Johnson's Critical Edition vs. Dickinson "XVI" AKA "Apocaplyse" (Ed. Dickinson-Bianchi, Hampson, 1924), Photographic facsimiles of unedited Dickinson manuscripts. So why can't I routinely get Johnson's critical edition for free online? Text created for print has many, many points at which it is anchored and tested for accuracy, coherence, and theoretical soundness, and they create "intellectual property," not just "information."
Hemingway's In Our Time: American 1st Edition (1925); English 1st edition (1926); American 2nd Edition (1930)--vs. your edition. Hemingway's In Our Time, the European 1st Edition (1924) and its suggestive cover art.
Two Great Print Libraries You Can Visit Nearby: