Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Compact Flash for Liebowitz.

Heedless of the damage done to the plot of every post-apocalyptic scifi story ever written, Encyclopedia Britannica has announced that they will be ceasing production of the print run of their encyclopedia after 244 years because, hey, it's all available online now.

So, if you're outfitting your bunker with all the stuff you'll need to rebuild civilization in a glowing radioactive wasteland, don't forget a wireless router!

24 comments:

Weer'd Beard said...

Don't worry, I have the WHOLE THING backed up on a Jazz drive!

Turk Turon said...

Farnham's Flashdrive!

A Boy And His GOP.

jetfxr69 said...

I wonder how long it'll take for a 2012 copy to be semi-affordable for bunker-storage?

Noah D said...

Yeah, this seems...ill-advised.

(I have a 1980 edition. Mom & Dad bought it when they really couldn't afford it...but it's invaluable. Like when the oldest's 5th grade 'social studies'* teacher said things like 'Copernicus was burned at the stake for his heliocentric views' and 'Germans crashed suicide zeppelins into London in the Great War'**. Spit-takes on both of those.)

*I hold that changing the curriculum from 'Geography' and 'History' to 'Social Studies' will be one of the clearly identifiable points of the downfall of society.

**As my friend said when I related that gem, 'That sounds like an awesome game, when is it coming out?'

RWC said...

I still have my hard copy encyclopedias if they're needed.

Granted, if you look up US President it will be 'Nixon - 1969 - ????'

And I used those in high school (late 80's/early 90's)

Yikes!

Anonymous said...

http://xkcd.com/548/

Too bad they took the SD slot out of the Kindle though. I remember a condensed version of Wikipedia available for my PalmPilot back in 1999.

-SM

Bubblehead Les. said...

"Daddy, just what is the Capital of Uruguay? Go look it up, Son. Can't Dad, we don't have any juice to power the Kindle."- Scenes from the Bunker, Spring, 201?

Pakkinpoppa said...

The parents still have the 1976 edition of...uh, I forget which one it is, but I believe it's Britannica. I used that my entire school career as a research source, as chances were, it had at least one page on any subject, and also counted as one source.

Plus, it had a relatively detailed description of the M1 Garand's operating system, and, a close up picture of a soldier with an M79!

This bodes...badly...for the continuation of civilization after the End.

Leibowitz? Wow...a reader of Drake, and you're one of the few I've ever heard refer to Leibowitz! Though I've mislaid the well worn copy...maybe it's at the parents' place.

Woodman said...

At the Amish auction I go to down near Rushville there was a set of Popular Science home mechanic encyclopedias up for auction.

I dropped out at $10 and it sold for $20, that was still just over a dollar a book and would have been worth every penny looking back at it now. I was holding out for a mantel clock that was three items later. That thing sold for $85 so it must have been worth more than I thought.

Woodman said...

Oh, the books were from 1954 or so if I remember correctly. So things like how to service electric motors, how to repair all kinds of things that people just throw away now were in there.

karrde said...

Ah, but will there still be paper for Leibowitz's grocery list?

I mean, if the paper-manufacturing company goes out of business, there won't even be raw material available for that relic.

Ken said...

We didn't have the Britannica, but growing up we had the 1960-61 edition of Collier's, plus the yearbooks up to about 1968 or so. They still raise good memories, and I'd still like a good set of print encyclopedias (preferably Britannica, but I wouldn't say no to a set of Collier's if I could find one cheap).

Pakkinpoppa said...

What also is disturbing is, with our slide into digital, the postwar, piles of books being burned in the Leibowitz-ian world would likely not happen on as wide a scale, it'd just be a big massive "delete" due to the EMP.

Many folks would probably be burning books to cook their neighbors with.

I sincerely doubt an iPad would make very good "kindle"-ing. Same with the Kindle...though they are plastic...

Art said...

Dead tree industries are hurtin' all over. When looking into options for disposing of my encyclopedias, I found that no one wants them. Suggested repurposing uses include glueing them together to make shelf standards, making them into hidden storage units by cutting out the pages, etc.

We be the barbarians burning the library of Athens.

My '89 edition of E.B. remains intact.

Martini said...

Tam,
I know you are well read, but damn it's nice to see someone make a reference to Canticle for Leibowitz. That is serious old school Sci-Fi right there.

Matt said...

Everyone knows the current encyclopedias aren't what you want anyway. If you're outfitting a TEOTWAWKI bunker, you want to get the 1911 edition! :)

Ambulance Driver said...

"A Compact Flash for Liebowitz."

Heh. I see what you did there.

Leaddog said...

In HS I got in trouble for pronouncing the name of our FuNk and Wagnall's too fast. The N was not prominent enough. I think it is still in the book case at the folk's house.

John A said...

Old editions? Some years ago, I bought their anniversary edition of the two-volume original. As a wedding present (yes, I am wierd).

Josh K. said...

Reader Digest - BACK TO BASICS - How to Learn and Enjoy Traditional American Skills (c) 1981

Hmmm... We never seem to learn from it anyways... I'm more worried about loosing the practical.

Matthew said...

"So, if you're outfitting your bunker with all the stuff you'll need to rebuild civilization in a glowing radioactive wasteland, don't forget a wireless router!"

And hope to hell a mutated homeless hotspot wanders by...

Will P. said...

I have a 1958 Britannica in immaculate condition that I found in a used book sale for $10.00. It is in my opinion reliable as all get out, and I would not sell it for ten times what I paid for it now.

But I do mourn the ending of an era.

Justthisguy said...

Dang, Ma'am! I just re-read A Canticle, the other day. One thing I have noticed, lately, is that we don't have to get nuked to be ruled by illiterate simpletons.

Zander said...

If you want to preserve some history for whatever's sake, find sn earlier edition of Webster's or OED at what is sure to be a bargain price.

It will represent a time when the true language of the world knew few bounds in quality, accuracy and scope ... and tyrants addicted to PC-Speak were still relegated to the prescient sci-fi novel.

Quite the contrast to the "modern" vocabulary of the typical user of social media, where equal weights of vulgarities, obscenities and profanities are "counterbalanced" by a handful of predictable words and phrases.

For instance:

Where you at?

...as opposed to:

Where are you?

I've quit grinding my teeth over such evidence of the abject failure of "modern" education, but I'm not ever going to be happy about the downward spiral. That's why my kids don't get edumacated in government-indoctrination centers.

...Zander