Digital Gutenberg
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There are a few things you need to know in advance about your messenger. First, I do not consider myself a technologist, though I do take an interest in some technologies. And as tricky and capable as some technology seems to be, I am confident that both human intelligence and human imagination are what counts in the making of things, particularly those things that we associate with the word "art."

Second, no one has ever accused me of being on the cutting edge of anything -- and for that favor I am most grateful. Too often today we make the mistake of thinking newness is itself a virtue, and also that the mere employment of new technologies is somehow synonymous with originality in thought or even profundity. Third, what interests me most is the idea of art and how that idea helps us to understand what it is to be a human being. And by art I mean all art -- art in words, images, and sounds -- art in all of its forms and instances -- art of every culture and from every impulse. When you consider that human beings have been around for nearly three million years, and that whatever we might have been thinking about ourselves for the first 2,980,000 of those years is either lost or non-existent, then it is clear that we have only just begun.

I tell you these things about me so that you are forewarned. This will not be a technical discussion, nor will it be a promotion of gadgetry and gimmicks. As I said, what interests me most is the idea of art as a path to understanding. And what I hope to show you in the course of my discussion is that computers are not only transforming the character of the path, but also opening it up to two-way traffic. That is why I have titled my essay "Digital Gutenberg -- Everyperson as Publisher."

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