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Re: Battle between paper and cyber version

Jul 28, 1997 03:18 PM
by M K Ramadoss

At 03:34 PM 7/28/97 -0400, you wrote:
>Doss wrote:
>>On the other hand, the speed of distribution and the low cost of publication
>>on Internet is going to pickup speed and is going to change the publishing
>>landscape in the years to come. It would be interesting to watch the
>It's fascinating how this issue is being discussed on so many lists, so it
>is a biggie. On scientific lists people are weighing the pros and cons of
>putting scientific journals online. (Right now, many scientific journals
>are putting only tables of contents and maybe abstracts of articles on the
>Web). On an indexers discussion list, my colleagues are fretting about how
>this will affect us, whose livelihoods depend on paper publishing.
>Personally, I feel that the growth in online publishing is inevitable and
>it is simply a matter of time before companies will work out how to do it
>and continue to make a profit. Well, some already have worked out a way to
>charge for online materials (periodicals). As for putting theosophical
>materials that are in the public domain or with the express permission of
>the author, I'm all in favor of it. This way we can truly reach those vast
>numbers who may not happen to stroll into a bookstore's occult section, but
>may key "reincarnation" (for example) into a search engine.
>I don't think that book-length online materials will cut drastically into
>book sales in the very near future. For one, you can't take your internet
>connection easily to the beach yet. (Well, you can but you need a laptop
>with a wireless internet connection. ;-D) More importantly, there seems to
>be a limit to the amount of text that one can absorb from a computer screen
>in a given timeframe without tiring.

I am a rookie in this business of publishing etc. Glad that someone like you
who is more into the mechanics of publication is here to give us a feedback.

As for the livelyhood being affected for some of us, in this age of
technology, jobs tend to be obsolete and we all keep retraining so that as
newer needs and opportunities arise we are ready for it. Hopefully hard copy
is never going to become obsolete. But with laser printers, the future looks
bring in home-printing; you print your own books. This is becoming a reality
when publications are converted to pdf files so that they can be viewed as
well as printed.

Theosophical publications are in a unique category by itself. As a well
known lecturer pointed out, TS has always made its knowledge available for
free and expects those benefactors also pass them on for free. So it looks
like Theosophy and Internet is a match made in heaven for unrestricted and
free distribution of knowledge and information (no flames as to how bills
are going to be paid -- just a few fat cats is all that is needed to take
care of the mundane bill paying problem -- but reaching out to the masses is
a massive undertaking and that is where I see future action lies. Contrary
to some who may think that Theosophy is for the well educated elite
intellectuals, I feel that Internet is finally going to take Theosophy into
every home. just like TV and exiciting days are ahead but not necessarily
exponential increase in memberships in T organizations.


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