Assimilating or detecting information or knowledge is done through the five senses (or if you want to go metaphysical, six senses). These are the senses of sight, sound, taste, touch or taste.
While some of these senses cannot be substituted for (what would you use to replace a sense of taste?), some can be compensated for with another.
For people who have lost their sight, the touch (via the braille) comes in handy. If something happens to your vocal chords, the sign language can supplant that (somewhat) in communicating. People who have lost their vision are also said to compensate for that somewhat through a compensatory highly sensitive sound perception .
The smartphone is progressively making life easy in almost all facets of life.
I used to read voraciously in my schooling days. As age catches on and the vision is not as pristine and acute as it used to be, the tiny prints used in some books has been a major disincentive to sustaining the passion of gobbling up books after books.
Enter the technology age.
When I was schooling, there were no tablets, kindles or smartphone with which to consume ebooks and other materials. Heck, there were no ebooks!. Conserving those books in good state has been a losing battle. How do you conserve a rare book for 35 years without the ravages of time, termites and cockroaches doing their dastardly damage?
With today’s technology, the whole world is in your mobile device. Like the title of that James Hadley Chase novel –
..the world is truly in our pockets with the age of the smartphones, tablets and smartwatches..
We can “read” on our Tablet. Reading with just the ears is an attractive alternative to reading with the eyes.
On ebooks readers, you can change the text color , bookmark.. conserve your precious documents for eternity without degradation. You can pick a book in a language you don’t understand, and have it translated using a tool like Google Translate. You can use the text-to-speech facility of modern day smartphone Operating Systems to read your text to you, while you rest your (tired?) eyes.
Just like Smartphones Have Made Countless Tools Obsolete, your eye is also a tool afflicted with partial obsolescence in this interesting world of technology.
Now, there is no reason not to prove wrong that saying, if you want to hide something from an African, put it in a book. You don’t need to read; you can just have your books read to you by your mobile device.. like your parents used to.. at bedtime!
Books…knowledge… information.. Abundantly available and accessible.. all following us wherever we go..into the toilet..on trains, on fights..while driving….everywhere.
Perhaps you have a mountain of ebooks you can neither find the time nor energy to read? Make use of an app like @Voice Aloud Reader or SoundGecko (available for both iOS and Android)
Reading is now unfashionable. Listening is the new method!
Do you prefer to watch, read or listen to information.? Would you prefer watching something on television, reading about the same thing, or hearing it read to you.. as sound only? Would you rather go to the Aljazeera website than watch the same news on television?
It is said that a picture is worth more than a thousand words, but then, the one who said that was probably not a swordsmith, as people with superior mastery of language can paint pictures more vividly with words than pictures can.
I used to prefer reading, visually savoring each word, pondering upon and relishing each letter making up those words. But with the advent of, and radical improvement in text-to-speech technology, my reading days are long over. I would let technology convert those tiny prints into sound, read to me, allowing me put those geriatric ears to good use, extending my visual longevity..
It’s a knowledge economy all right. Embrace it with proper use of technology.