How Much is Technology Affecting the Publishing Industry?

This is a question I plan on spending a few weeks researching because this not only because it fascinates me and relates to my future, but also because it isn’t a simple answer. In this post, I will present two resources, one from each side. However, I plan on spending some time finding out which side is more accurate during the upcoming weeks.

Is Google Making Us Stupid?” & “The Publishing Industry Isn’t Dead — But It Is Evolving

Perhaps, this is not a question of “how much,” but rather, “to what degree” is the publishing industry effected by technology. However, I pose this argument as a matter of how much because on the surface of this issue, on the surface of how much technology has or hasn’t changed altogether, this is a question that comes up first and needs to be addressed, to some degree.

Both articles mentioned a common point, which is that readers now don’t have the patience to sit and read long content. However, “Is Google Making Us Stupid,” claims this is so, and “The Publishing Industry Isn’t Dead — But It Is Evolving,” claims this is false. (For convenience, I will refer to, “Is Google Making Us Stupid” as article 1, and “The Publishing Industry Isn’t Dead — But It Is Evolving” as article 2.) I find it ironic though that Article 1 spends a great amount of time talking about how much Carr, the author, and others quoted in the article, cannot sit and read long content like they used to, meanwhile the article is quite lengthy itself. I myself found it quite tiresome and tedious to get through although the argument is interesting. Now, though, interesting doesn’t always cut it.

Carr advances his article by arguing that the way we read now is a different kind of reading and that “we are not only what we read, we are how we read.” The way reading is done now has changed. And to this point, the author of Article 2, Hyrkin, also agrees. However, he sees this as an advantage.

In Article 2, Hyrkin says that technology has changed much of our world, but the publishing industry is changing with it and doing quite well, too. He says, that on the contrary, people are demanding longer content, and this is due mainly to the ability to take our content on the go on tablets, e-readers, and the like.

The disagreement between the two is natural. It’s based on who they work for and/or what they’re advocating, personal views, or simply a time difference. Nicholas Carr published this article in the summer issue of 2008 in The Atlantic, and Joe Hyrkin published his in June 2014 on The Next Web. This is not to say that technology wasn’t as advanced and involved in our lives in 2008 as it was in 2014; however, the change seems backwards. Article 1, which claims that we don’t want longer content, came out before article 2 with the opposite view. Either we have adapted to the technology and embraced the longer content which for a while we were resisting, or these views are based on different sets of data.

My point is not which one is right (because obviously there’s more than one view on how much technology is affecting the publishing industry), but rather which one is closer to “reality”. There might be data saying that the publishing industry and writers are benefiting from technology and the changes it’s brought, but the majority of the people feel that that’s false. Article 2 suggests that it’s a matter of perception. My question is why is there a gap between the perception that technology is hurting the industry and the “truth”(yet to be proved) that it’s not? Hyrkin writes, “Consumers already have the wherewithal to read long-form content on-the-go, right in the palms of their hands. New research indicates that three in 10 adults read an e-book last year and half own a tablet or e-reader.” My immediate reaction to this statement is that I know a handful, at least, of people who have tablets, kindles, nooks, etc, but don’t use them, and if they do, it’s not for reading. I’m not convinced that our attention span has not been affected by technology constantly in our faces. I do think, though, that there is a balance, and without one, the perceived might never meet reality. This balance comes through in Carr’s idea that we are reading differently rather than less.

This is an endlessly fascinating binary between technology and writing or just artistry in general. As my blog title suggests, could there have been a time (perhaps not so long ago) where artistry “died”? By “died” I specifically mean that now it’s in an “afterlife,” a new stage? Could it have changed in its course, become completely different from what it was before, whether for better or worse, took on a completely new and distinct form? I hope to find clearer beliefs in the next few weeks; I restrain from using the word “answers” because there might not be one answer, one right or wrong, though these articles have definitely wet my appetite for some.

Works Cited

Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 1 July 2008. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.
Hyrkin, Joe. “The Publishing Industry Isn’t Dead, But It IS Evolving.” The Next Web. The Next Web, 21 June 2014. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.

Candid Magazine’s Feature of “Artistry/Technology”


The video created by Creative Director Danny Keeling presents different points of view from actors, artists, cinematographers, designers, amongst others. I found this video quite unique because of the people presented in the video. The video is composed of opinions as to what these individuals think about how technology and artistry work together (not to say that this is necessarily a binary, though).

Keeling does a nice job of balancing the images to shape the viewer’s view, which at first almost seems as though he doesn’t like the impact technology has had on artistry. I say this because the images he chooses to showcase for “technology” are often images that we associate with “bad” things, such as fumes and smoke coming out of factories. On the other hand, he shows images of nature, flowers, trees, using shallow focus to really capture the viewer’s eye and allow the viewer to almost appreciate the purity of it, even if this might be a forced opinion.

Some of the opinions in this video were that, “everybody benefits,” because anyone can access this technology (which is anything from a paintbrush to an iPad). As designer Marcel Wanders says, “We are a spices which grows itself, which claims itself to higher standards…. we create technologies which give us a life that we can’t even imagine today” (4:30). In this respect, looking at technology, which has made life easier to live, made living more luxurious, this way, it makes us realize that though we are shaped by technology, it might be worth it because this is how everyone prefers it.

However, the opinion that, “we’re leaving the physical world and living more of our time in a virtual world, which seems perhaps sometimes more real than the physical world we inhabit,” (7:20). Although this statement sort of drifts away from artistry, this is a scary thought that I think is important when we’re thinking of compromising our lives for better art, in a sense. Perhaps this idea is a stretch, but this technology doesn’t only shape our art and artistry, it shapes our lives and the way we live, the way we see this world, and it doesn’t stop there either. Just as fine art loses it’s value through technology (as Francesco Vezzoli says (7:40)), so does the purity of living and taking in life to it’s fullest.

“The entire creative process is different,” Miranda July points out during this video, (9:00). In some ways, this is wonderful, and in some ways this is scary. Art in a sense, in my opinion, has made a full cycle and has changed completely, partly because of technology and partly because we as humans naturally evolved in ways that are unimaginable. So we were naturally changing, but the rate at which technology allowed us to do so makes me question whether it means we’re better than if we were to evolve to this world at a much slower pace. This video has shown me some amazing new art that otherwise I would have never known about (all through technology), such as William Close’s intention of musical instruments through architectural structures, (10:31). This would have otherwise never existed, but sometimes I question whether this big change is worth this innovation. Obviously, it’s not that simple, it’s not only about art, but if we could only separate out technology in terms of art (for this blog/project) than this is a question worth considering seriously.

Works Cited

“Artistry/Technology: How Technology Is Affecting Creatives.” Candid Magazine. Candid Publications, 10 Apr. 2015. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.