Critical Linking: December 1, 2013

The age of the e-book is here, but 16- to 24-year-olds still like reading the old-fashioned way, a new study by youth marketing strategy agency Voxburner found.

The study, as reported by the Guardian, tallied 1,420 young adults about their preferences for digital content versus actual printed material. Turns out, 62 percent of respondents would rather crack open a paperback than read something on their Kindle.

I think this one needs some time in the methodology corner.

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Despite claims to the contrary, the storage media in wide use today—CD-ROMs, spinning hard drives, flash memory, etc.—aren’t very durable. “You’re talking years, not decades,” says Howard Besser, a professor and archivist at New York University who was named a pioneer of digital preservation by the Library of Congress. “A CD-ROM was originally supposed to last 100 years, but many fail in 10.”

Old-fashioned paper has done very well by comparison. Until people made a habit of adding acidic chemicals to their paper in the 19th century, books could last five hundred years or more. And while paper has its vulnerabilities—to fire and water, for example—so do more newfangled technologies.

What about the cloud?

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On Saturday, President Obama and his daughters made their annual trek to a DC-area independent book shop in support of Small Business Saturday. The President visited iconic D.C. store Politics & Prose, and bought up an armload full of books, including Jhumpa Lahiri’s “The Lowland” and James Salter’s “All That Is.” 

POTUS likes some good stuff.

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