The Twitter Slayers?: Will E-Readers and Russell Wilcox’s “E Ink” Save Us From the Dumbing-Down of Civilization?

Electronic media seems to be killing the book business and long-form journalism.

Enter Russell Wilcox, CEO of E Ink. He is, according to Fortune magazine, perhaps the savior of the world (Jesus, step aside please). Wilcox is on a mission to literally rescue human civilization from the Internet’s twittering, 140 character maximum, Twit-Heads and quick-take bloggers (like me, I suppose).

And no, Wilcox is not kidding:

E Ink’s Wilcox has anything but failure in mind. He believes that e-readers are the best chance to keep the world devouring novels, lengthy nonfiction tomes, and long-form journalism. “We can’t have meaningful discussions or try to solve the world’s problems using blogs and 140-character Tweets,” Wilcox says. “What we need more is calm, prudent thought— more expertise.” That is what Wilcox hopes to deliver with E Ink. “We’re not only going to save publishing,” he says, “we’re also going to save civilization.” The laugh that you might expect to come next never does. He means it.

The next generation of e-readers (coming out next year) will be about $800.

And newspapers and magazines are looking at ways to deliver content using a cable model. That means cable packages and monthly bills.

Saving the world, $800 at a time.

Yes. we. can.

Of course, I’ll be first in line for one of these new devices. Yes I will.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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