Andrew Brown from the Guardian has an interesting take on the act of reading. Video and audio “take more time to convey less meaning,” he writes. “There are some things which print cannot easily – or at all – convey, and which sound and pictures can. But there are surprisingly few of them. Just for an experiment, try listening to the television news while not watching the pictures. You will be just as well informed and half your attention has been freed for other things. You will also notice – without the distractions – that hardly anything of any interest has been said at all. If you just read a transcript of what has been said, you will have learned even more, and in even less time.”
Information on the Web wants to be free, writes Brown among other various information technology scholars. (Last week’s announcement of by the New York Times to keep its content free online is one big example.) However, with the advent of ad-blocking software staying a step ahead, will we always enjoy the imense amount of current reporting and news-gathering without a better economic model? Worth thinking about.