The primary media used by mankind to display the written word, that is, display abstract symbols used by the
creator/writer to convey meaning to the viewer/reader, doesn't change very often. Depending upon how you define "written" symbology, for a period of time, at least 50,000 years, perhaps much further back, even beyond the dawn of the human species, drawings of symbols, erection of markers and what have you were etched upon the face of the earth. Whether cave drawings of animals or stacks of stones used to mark a trail, symbols were placed upon the earth's surface to illustrate some idea or other that could be read by individuals other than the creator of the symbol. The surface of the earth itself was the media. At least ten thousand years ago, perhaps many tens of thousands beyond that, people began to scratch out images and other symbols onto manufactured articles such as clay tablets, crafted walls in public places, carved stones and so forth. These messages both utilized a manufactured media and were, generally, used more sophisticated symbology allowing a more complex and/or precise story or message to be conveyed to the reader. Five of six thousand years ago, some societies began to develop forms of papyrus. The papyrus was formed into scrolls on which symbols were drawn using some manufactured stain or ink. Somewhat later, true paper was developed and used, first as scrolls then, hundreds of years on, in a recognizable book form. In the west, it was only around five hundred years ago that moveable type forced a movement of the written word onto the modern book form. Books are now used to convey messages in all the static forms of symbology known to man. Around fifty years ago the written word and other forms of symbology began to be created, stored, retrieved and read in digital forms using electronic devices. Of course, some electronic forms of symbology had been around for many decades prior to this but, for the most part, digital symbology recognizable to most literate humans began in the late 1940's, early 1950's. From this time line, admittedly a highly debatable timeline, two things are obvious. One, in the entire history of the written word/symbol, only four or five changes in the primary media of messaging has taken place. Two, the period of time between these shifts is shrinking dramatically. These periods of time have gone from perhaps hundreds of thousands of years between the advent of using the face of the earth to using manufactured surfaces to lesser intervals between subsequent shifts. Perhaps, it took another five to thirty thousand years to go from crude manufactured surfaces to papyrus and paper. Perhaps it took yet another five to ten thousand years to get from paper and ink entries by hand to the use of moveable type in a modern book format. Maybe another five hundred years to move from the printed book to digital formats. Of course, digital formatting is not yet the primary media for presenting the written word. It may never be. However, in all likelihood, digital formats will very shortly be the primary presentation format. In only a generation or two hence the printed book may go the way of the clay tablet and the scroll.
these sources can and should be linked so immediate access is available to the reader. This is a basic example of three-dimensional literature. the book will never go completely away. Just as mural graffiti keeps the media of the cave painting alive and billboards are nothing more than modern versions of ancient Egyptian wall writings. digital formats are evolving that will make room for all kinds of. historical fiction can make use of active links offering historical legitimacy to the reader who desires it. immediately referable through links to the cited source documents. aging them along with the increased maturity of her core readers. Indeed. symbology. the maturity of the language and the story concepts and plots had
. in part. On the one hand. Such links would act in much the same way as they would in a nonfiction work of history. Beyond that. That is. this option is already available to him or her by checking out the source documents and comparing them to the way an author portrays these works in his work. not of my invention. One obvious opportunity that should not over tax the general reader of a digital book is to make footnotes in nonfiction works. K. J. This additional complication is due. to the fact that it can take so many different forms. Within a digital book. at least every form of stationary symbology. It takes a while for the general public to achieve literacy in new symbolic communications' techniques. including written language. many years before the general public is comfortable with the many possibilities of new literary forms and formats. no form of symbolic media has ever fallen completely out of use. including animated. But. at this point. allowing the reader to look into the creation of a work by exploring the sources from which it springs. by the time the reader finished the final book when he or she was in the late teens or early twenties. layers of story can be arranged within a digital book so that. known.Even so. I cannot understand why such active links are not required in all scholarly work presented for peer review today. the story's layers can provide incremental complexity depending upon the sophistication and tastes of the individual reader. and other written works. If a child began his or her engagement with the world of wizardry at the age of ten. in much the same way varying layers and levels of an interactive game grow more complex as a player advances from level to level. In fiction works achieving true three-dimensionality may be somewhat more complicated. Chances are some form of digital media will become the primary media for everyday transmission of written symbology. What the new vook (a proffered new word. If a reader has access to a good library. incorporating the concept of a traditional book that includes other media such as video and audio messaging) will look like is not. just as the book is used to convey every form of human symbology. Rowling did something very much like this by increasing the literary complexity and the social complexity of her stories. Just as ubiquitous human literacy is only a few centuries old it may be many.
Such embellishments could be used to add "flavor" to the personalities of characters within the story. the digital vook format makes new synergistic creations possible if the creator possesses the talent to pull it off. interests and tastes of the child. if any. as they grow in popularity.
. Of course. a new language is created in a work of science fiction. concepts and characterizations can be matured within various levels of the book offering different experiences to different readers. or the same reader revisiting a work at a later age. Three-dimensional literature could be possible within a single book using layers of digital print.kept pace with the age. mathematical formula. Creators are now free to utilize the form of communication best suited for a specific idea or message. etc. within a digital vook still and animated images can be used along with the written and spoken word to reinforce each other's conveyance of a single message. verbal translators can be embedded in the digital format. If a scene is best communicated as a video play. I do not know which. Yet another potential of third dimensional literature could be the full integration of more than one media within the vook. Complexity of plot. If. or others like them will be used. this mixing of media can be troublesome. Perhaps puzzles either added as links or embedded within the language of the text that suggest links but do not overtly offer them is yet another means of adding a third dimension to a nonfiction work. switching from video to the written word and vice versa can also be very awkward. Certainly some of them. Links to recipes. as was done for Klingon in Star Trek the language in Avatar. In much the same way as graphic novels use drawings as well as language to convey a single message. of these third dimensional mechanisms authors will utilize in the future. Another potential form of third dimensional nonfiction is as simple as embedding material that enhances the story in the body of the work through the use of links. can be embedded within the text. They will enrich literature and. they will accelerate the movement away from printed books to digital formats. obscure philosophy. Persons writing new age literature may need to link to web sites that elaborate on the concepts and beliefs of the characters within the story. Never the less. that can be done within a digital book and fully integrated into the work. In much the same way that an actor breaking out in song during spoken dialog is frequently awkward. using the same essential story line.