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The book and the printing press

About the year 1450 some rather unusual “manuscripts” made their appearance in the northern regions ofWestern Europe. Although not very different in appearance from traditional manuscripts, they were “impressed” on paper, sometimeson vellum, with the mechanical aid of a printing press which used moveable type. [Febvre and Martin, p. 9]

Gutenberg’s invention of the movable-type printing press in the fifteenth century is widely considered, alongwith gunpowder and the compass, one of the three most influential inventions in history. This is a truly remarkable statement since the first printed books looked fairly similar to the hand-writtenbooks that preceded them. Nevertheless, the enormously improved efficiency and accuracy of machine-printed books had a powerfuleffect that continued to develop for centuries. As with other “disruptive technologies,” the first phase of influence was simplyto do the old job better. Then, in the second phase, the existence of large numbers of inexpensive books changed the way education andcommunication took place, the way material was authored and, in the process, invented a new tool for mass entertainment and created acommercial commodity.

To bring the problem into a sharper focus: the advent of printing, we are told, was the most important event “inthe cultural history of mankind;” it “brought about the most radical transformation in the conditions of intellectual life inthe history of Western civilization.” [Eisenstein, p. 115]

This transformation occurred not only in the life of the elite, but in all of society. The inventions ofliteracy and the printing press brought to the masses what previously had been reserved for the privileged and, before that,the priest and the scholar. They brought a new and different dimension to the democratic process, the educational enterprise,and the religious life of the society. It is no coincidence that the Reformation, a democratization of Christian religious life,also began in Germany, within a century of Gutenberg’s invention. What was the obvious book to be printed by this new technology? TheBible. What was the obvious result? Readers—priests, educated laymen, even the literate poor—might read and interpret forthemselves. Revolution. Certainly an unintended consequence but, perhaps with more thought, a predictable one.

The current paper book is the result of technical evolution over thousands of years. It is now a maturetechnology and is being challenged by modern digital technologies. Stone, bone, clay, papyrus, scrolls, codex, ink, paper, and theprinting press were all steps in its evolution. A parallel development of a commercial system supported the creation andmarketing of books, resulting in the current system of authors, editors, publishers, book stores, and readers. We are now seeingthe beginning of the effects of modern digital technology, mass storage technology, and Internet communications.

Because the printing press had a much greater impact than was anticipated, we may ask if the use of electronic ordigital information—cheaper to produce, easier to author, easier to alter, and almost free to distribute—will have a similar powerful,unexpected effect. Of course it will.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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Source:  OpenStax, A brave new digi-world and caribbean literacy : a search for solutions. OpenStax CNX. Apr 22, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10600/1.10
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