[NETIZENS’ VOICE]‘Digilog’ makes books more important

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[NETIZENS’ VOICE]‘Digilog’ makes books more important

A few days ago, there was a report in the newspaper that former Minister of Culture Lee O-young had published a book titled “Digilog.”
This book is a collection of 30 articles he wroter as a contributing writer at the JoongAng Ilbo from Jan. 1 to Feb. 17 this yea.
Mr. Lee revised and supplemented the articles to use in the book.
I went straight to the bookstore and bought a copy. As a person hung up on words such as “information-oriented society,” “Internet,” “digital” and “cyber,” it was a book I really needed to read.
As I held a copy in my hands, I felt as if I had acquired a precious treasure.
Then, I read the whole book in one sitting. To be frank, I have read all of Mr. Lee’s serial articles on the Internet and saved every one of his blog postings.
Why then did I spend money to buy this book?
It’s because ― although I have saved all the contents on the blog ― I believe that nothing can surpass a book.
Unlike digital content, books are objects we can easily carry around and open to read whenever we need to refer to it.
Books have filled the human thirst for knowledge for a long time.
Even if the contents are the same, the reader responds in totally different ways when encountering the written word, whether inked with a pen or printed in a book.
When I bought the book, the feeling was indeed good. When I finished reading the book, I felt highly rewarded.
Although it was the same content, how could the experience of reading it as a book seem so different from reading it in a blog?
It is just my guess that the reason Mr. Lee decided to publish writings that had already come out in a newspaper was to fill a sense of that need.
The nuance in the term “Digilog,” which is a compound of the words “Digital” and “Analog,” unfolds into a greater meaning [despite the seeming incongruity] of “Analog with a digital element.”
We can say that Mr. Lee’s act of publishing his writings as a book so we can read it in a physical space that is already accessible on the Internet space ― or reading something in a book that I have already read them digital form ― is an act of digilog.
Digital worshippers say that before long, “an era without paper will come and ‘paper books’ will soon disappear.”
Not at all.
I firmly believe that as long as the basic instinctual need for human beings to touch exists, this would not happen.
Transferring information digitally is very fast, so fast that it is almost impossible to compare it with the transfer of information through the analog method.
However, its absorptive power is weak.
This is because unlike the analog way, we cannot feel digital [information] directly with our skin.
This is why the argument of experts that “Digital rather increases the value of the analog that had existed until today” is persuasive.


by Lee Jae-il
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