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Digital Domesday Book lasts 15 years not 1000



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I feel a need to chime in here with a couple observations.

First, the general observation of "new fangled" being shunned by current
craftsmen is correct whether we are talking printing or audio reproduction.
There are those who seek out vacuum tube equipment to reproduce audio
tracks. I am not saying they are or are not correct. It is the same with all
technologies.

Second, rather than making blanket statements about new and old, I think
that the standards set by current technology must be used to determine the
viability of new techniques. We tend to get comfortable with a process and
don't want anything to mess up our way of doing things. It is this comfort
level that tends to prolong the life of many obsolete processes. An open
mind is required to maintain a craft.

The standards set by printers using time proven techniques should be the
determining factor in choosing a process from the many "new fangled" options
available. The longevity of a finished product is the first standard which
has been shoved into the background as to importance. It is believed that
getting it on the shelves now is more important than doing it in a way which
will make it last. It was the standard of "doing it right" which was the
mark which Gutenberg had to aspire to with his idea of using movable type as
opposed to doing it with pen and ink. Today there are copies of both in
existence. Documents written in pen and ink from the 15th century as well as
books and documents printed using movable type from the same time period. I
would have a hard time believing that much of the material printed today
will be around for historians in the 25th century.

 I certainly do not suggest that everything done the "old fashioned way" is
perfect. There have been experiments with processes which have proven to be
a mistake along the way. Take the disaster we have on our hands with the
early wood pulp books of the late 1800's. Perhaps this problem points up the
main issue of this discussion. While a market was created for inexpensive,
mass produced books, there was at the same time a much larger market for
more long lasting products. I feel it is the same today. There is a market
for a disposable product. Perhaps a standard will develop over time for
these products. As of now the idea is more of a confusion than anything.
Technology has made it so easy to put our message on paper that it is
difficult to get anyone to appreciate the effort required to do a quality
job. How can we expect the public to take notice when they are drowning in
paper?

prints by AJ
Austin Jones
Point Pleasant, WV  USA

Dean Fletcher Wrote in part -

I'm sure that when book printing technology was first introduced that the
guild of scribes came up with much the same reasoning that hand-written
books
were "far superior"  and more durable than thiese new fangled printed books.
After all, any new technology becomes obsolete, but, there will always be
scribes, right?

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