We Have Seen the Future --- And It Is Scary

We are seeing the future, and it is --- scary? The background is the ongoing debate over electronic books and the electronic devices (the actual objects) on which those books can be read.

This is a Very Hot Topic among the elitterati and writers and publishers because, well, we're watching history being made and of course we who are living through the process don't know how things will turn out, so mostly we sit around and talk about the details --- details that some future historian will gloss over because by then this will have all been decided and no one will care about the details and chatter that enveloped the topic at the time.

Okay. My submission for the Longest Sentence of the Day contest.

Anyway --- as I think many people know, Amazon's version of the e-reader is the Kindle and there's been huge, contentious debate over whether or not Amazon will end up controlling the entire market for e-books because of the Kindle. Last week, the debate heated up because Amazon "yanked" (deleted) copies of several books that customers had bought, including George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm.

This move was widely criticized and interpreted as still more evidence of Amazon's plot to take over the world (although it's competing for that prize with the Google Guys and it's not clear who will win: Bezos or the Google Guys.)

So to finally get to the point here, Astute Reader Dexter is a devoted blog reader who lives in Hawaii and spends his time lying on a beach surrounded by blackberry, laptop, Iphone, and other gizmos that enable him to keep up with all the stuff I'm interested in so that he can then pass on great info to me. He's sort of my personal Beta Reader (who comes equipped with an astounding range of cultural references.

I think the guy has read every book, seen every movie, and every TV show ever in the history of time.) Yesterday, he sent along a link to this Slate.com article, which offers a chilling, interpretation of Amazon's deletion of the books from the Kindle.

Read it and, uh, ya know, ponder the possible future.