We are very extremely that you might want to join this effort and we understand that you are very, very busy. We would absolutely love to learn any perspective you might have on the future of text, the current state of text, or the history of text which might illuminate its future. And yes, we believe that there is a rich and vital future of text ahead of us, just look at the younger generation who chooses to text more than speak on their ‘phones’*.
The Power & Peril of Text
The power of text to allow us to freeze our thoughts to share them across space and time has become even more powerful on digital devices, a power not always employed for the good of us all.
We entrust the medium of text with much of our important thoughts and communication and we are increasingly getting overwhelmed with the amount of text we have in our personal and professional lives, not to mention the issues around fake news. While social media companies invest in how they want us to interact with each other through text–to maximise engagement to simply share, to the detriment of engagement to understand–it is up to the rest of us to work to develop the tools and systems we want to use to express ourselves and think through text.
Deeply interactive text can allow us to connect to each other, our information and to our own thoughts in ways previously un-thought of. Even Socrates might be impressed if he was here to consider the opportunities. In ‘Meaning‘, Michael Polanyi and Harry Prosch talk about how binocular vision gives us a richer understanding of what we see. Imagine the opportunities deeply interactive text can give us to see textual information from two different angles, but from any number of different angles; every definition at hand, every reference instantly accessible, relationships laid bare, layers of meaning available to peel away.
The Importance of Dialogue
The dialogue around the future of text is too important to all of us to be left only to those of us from whom this is our primary concern. We need to look further and your perspective would be so gratefully received.
The Specifics of The Interview
We humbly therefore ask if you might be available for an interview which would be transcribed and included in the book as well as being made available online. This will be based on a few pre-written questions where you should feel free to elaborate if you wish. This can be done within 30 mins. If you choose this option you will of course be able to edit/veto the final content.
You would of course be welcome to write an article for The Future of Text book, which would be wonderful but it also requires the biggest time investment.
Thank you again for considering this. There are too many issues with digital text to go through here, but with real dialogue we can unleash the potential of richly interactive text. You will be joining a wonderful group of individuals who have already joined in the dialogue. I hope you will find this interesting–it would be a great honour to have you perspective included in this effort.
Frode Alexander Hegland, editor,
Vint Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet
Ismail Serageldin, founder of the Modern Library of Alexandria
& Editorial Team