Digital Gutenberg
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The power to publish has been put in the hands of everyperson, if they want it. The power of the edition is the power to influence, to have an effect, to be part of change, to define change, to share the knowledge of what it is to be a human being with as many others as might want it. We have the machines, not just the computers, but all the machines required for this great new phase of publishing -- the age of integrated, interactive, open-ended editions. We have laser printers as good as the best commercial printing presses. We have laser copiers, laser scanners, video capture boards, high-resolution video cameras, still video cameras, musical instrument digital integration devices, and more. There is even now a three-dimensional printer capable of taking designs from the computer and printing out real 3-D molds that can be used to cast intricately sculpted forms. It was made for industry, but I am sure a sculptor or two will soon discover its advantages. One person, with just a few of these things on a desktop at home or in the studio, can be writer, editor, page designer, type designer, type founder, artist, videographer, publisher, printer -- and do it without really knowing how, exactly, it all happens. And the cost to one person for all this potential is probably less, but certainly not more, than what he or she might spend on a modestly priced automobile -- perhaps less than a good used car.

How much would an artist pay for an electronic gallery? -- a poet for an electronic coffee house? -- a novelist for an electronic publisher? -- a musician for an electronic instrument and studio? -- a photographer or videographer for an extended darkroom, gallery, and electronic theater? What would anyone pay for a digital chameleon capable of becoming whatever his or her mind is able to imagine?


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