The Price of Books, The Value of Civilization
Date Written: 01/08/2014
Year Published: 2014
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX16666
I have come to think that books occupy this valuable position in our civilisation because they are the only medium for thick descriptions of the world that human beings possess. By thick description, I mean an extended, detailed, evidence-based, written interpretation of a subject. If you want to write a feature or blog or wikipedia entry, be it about the origins of the first world war; the authoritarian turn in Russia; or the causes and effects of the 2008 financial crisis, in the end you will have to refer to a book. Or at least refer to other people who have referred to books. Even the best magazine pieces and TV documentaries and the best of these are very good indeed are only puddle-deep compared with the thick descriptions laid out in books. They are thin descriptions and the creators and authors of them will have referred extensively to books to produce their work.