Arthur Clarke on the Internet, 1968

    Arthur Clark, Space Odyssey 2001, 1968

    Bored in flight did not have to. Tired of reading official reports, memos and minutes, Floyd plugged his newspaper pad into the ship’s information network and scanned the world's largest electronic newspapers one after another. He remembered their code signals, and he did not even need to look at the back wall of the tablet, where their list was printed. Turning on the short-term storage device of the tablet, he delayed the image of the next page on the screen, quickly ran through the headlines and noted articles that interested him. Each article had its own two-digit code number - as soon as you type it on the tablet keyboard, the tiny rectangle of the article instantly increased to the size of a screen the size of a sheet of writing paper, providing complete ease of reading. After reading one article,

    He repeatedly asked himself the question: is a newspaper tablet with fantastically sophisticated technology hiding behind its ease of use still not the last word in a person’s constant pursuit of perfect communications? What more could you ask for? Take, for example, Floyd: far in space, flying away from the Earth at a speed of many thousands of kilometers per hour, he can press one or two buttons - and after a few milliseconds read the headlines of any newspaper. By the way, in this era of electronics, the very word "newspaper", of course, became an anachronism. The text was automatically updated hourly. Even if you read only newspapers in English, you can do all your life what to absorb this ever-renewing stream of information coming from communication satellites.

    It was difficult to imagine a system that was more perfect and convenient. And yet, probably, sooner or later, a newspaper tablet will outlive itself and be supplanted by something as unimaginable as the tablet itself would be unimaginable for Kekson [The first English book printer (1424-1491)] or Gutenberg.

    And another thought often came to Floyd's mind when these tiny electronic lines unfold in front of him. The more perfect the technique of transmitting information, the more ordinary, vulgar, gray its content becomes.Accidents, crimes, catastrophes and natural disasters, the threat of armed conflict, gloomy forecasts of editorial articles - these are what carried millions of words that every minute erupted on the air. However, Floyd thought it might be half the trouble: he had long ago come to the conclusion that newspapers in perfect Utopia would be unbearably boring.

    It’s especially surprising to read on a tablet or laptop, connected via Wi-Fi “to the information network” of the coffee shop :) And the highlight becomes especially obvious when you come across flickering placers of banners of yellow media and diaries of “star of the parsley”.

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