Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops Publishing Dead Tree Version; If You're Unfamiliar, You Can Read About It On Wikipedia

from the end-of-an-era-that-actually-ended-years-ago dept

There is something symbolic about the news that the Encyclopaedia Britannica is finally giving up on its printed product -- a product that was once more or less "required" for middle class families. Of course, if you'd asked me last week if Britannica actually still printed its books, I might have guessed they'd already stopped. Britannica had lost an awful lot of relevance even before Wikipedia came along, and its efforts to embrace the web have always come across as too little, too late in an era dominated by Wikipedia. While the ending of the print publication is a milestone, it seems unlikely to be an indication of fortunes turning around for Britannica.

Filed Under: encyclopedia, print
Companies: encyclopaedia britannica, wikipedia


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2012 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Telling....

    Lets see.

    How Differential Gear works (BEST Tutorial) from the 30's explaining how a differential works to a 5 year old.

    Comparing that to the modern version.

    How a Differential Works and Types of Differentials from 2011 explanation.

    Well, dunno but I'm going with the 5 year old explanation here, it explains how it works it shows you and helps you understand what it does and how it does it, the other one is prettier but it doesn't explain that well just says what the whole mechanism does and never bother to explain how they actually work you don't get to understand why the gears turn the way they turn it just says "trust me" it will do this, when it is not clear to everyone how the gears work really, that is why the 30's video is great it shows why the gears act the way they act and people have an easier time acquiring the knowledge of what they do.

    With that said I agree simple language does not guarantee greater clarity for that the people doing the explaining need to be knowledgeable on what they are explaining so they can find the best approximation and means to explain something but simple language means common language that is accessible to a bigger group of people and with the ever growing need to share knowledge with other fields that is going to become a problem that every engineer/professional out there will have to learn something about it, you don't want doctors and programmers talking different languages there needs to be a common one that can be used for both of them to pass knowledge to each other it is becoming increasingly unacceptable to create terms that are only used in one area and not to others because it makes it difficult to work in large groups.

    e.g.: Get a doctor to explain how a heart works and then get a mechanical engineer to explain how a pump works and then get an physicist to explain how a pump works all those terms used in different areas makes no sense to people outside, but they all explain the exact same thing and that can be explained in simple terms.

    The myocardial muscle will contract pushing blood away.
    The Tension ball will contract pushing blood away.

    Today two groups of people need a third one to serve as a translation interface between everybody else, Steve Jobs although a tremendous jerk was a brilliant interface, he knew just enough engineering to understand what they were talking about and was able to be simple minded enough to understand the needs of other people, that is no easy task. That has other names some people call that managers, some call it coordinator, some call it GUI.

    Simple language: The more simple you can communicate something a larger group of people you can reach and more benefits can be draw from it.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.