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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

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.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

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