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“Books of the coming century will all be printed leaves of nickel, so light to hold that the reader can enjoy a small library in a single volume. A book two inches thick will contain forty thousand pages, the equivalent of a hundred volumes; six inches in aggregate thickness, it would suffice for all the contents of the Encyclopedia Britannica. And each volume would weigh less than a pound.”

– Thomas Edison, June 23, 1911, on the world of 2011 (via PaleoFuture)


5 Responses to ““What will the world be a hundred years hence?””

  1. Frank Lowney

    This is a great and humbling example of the perils or prognostication. All we can do is extrapolate from our perceptions of the present and that method takes no account of the punctuated equilibria that characterizes both biological and cultural evolution.

    So here we are extrapolating from our perception that the books must be viewed on screens using text and other media in a mostly linear fashion. That remains to be seen.

  2. BookGenie

    We will tell you the reading in 2111. We will have a hosted space in air molecules, data is automatically read by our mind without our eyes, our hair is used as automatic receptors of data..

    such comments are posted on sky / cloud walls

    (oops did i sound too much?)

  3. Mark Shaw

    Or maybe paper books will sit on library shelves under dust and cobwebs overlooking the shattered and broken gizmos of the future with no one left to read them.

  4. rckoegel

    i prefer to believe that besides perhaps a few large libraries, and the childrens book section–or special materials section (brail/reference)–in libraries, there would be no nead for paper books in the future.

    of cours i’d also like to believe that in the future there will be more effient recycling systems, and no copyrights; but instead a fair use system that still allows artists, authors, and inventors to make a decent living of their wares.

  5. DSpider

    Close. The iPod touch, for instance, is not 2 inches thick. And 8 GB could probably store 40.000 pages easily (in text form at least).