Pressing Embarassment

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Invented in 1440, the printing press changed the world. Before the press, a book was hard to come by and expensive. Much less reading a book, touching and holding a book. A library was a storehouse of books. All of which were one of a kind or hand copied.

Rare one of a kind treasures.

Between 1440 and 1500, the world went from these few rarities to twenty million volumes. By the end of the 1500’s there were potentially 200 million volumes.

Literacy was suddenly on the rise. People everywhere had access to the volumes being printed.

Eventually, volumes turned shorter and shorter. Magazines and newspapers were born. They started adding pictures and figured out how to reproduce images.

Children would stay up way too late. Reading books. These books would leave an imprint on a child’s face if they fell asleep reading. A 16th century Facebook I guess.

Parents were concerned for their children’s safety. All this reading and media they were consuming. It would eventually have to turn to something evil and rot the brains of these young innocent minds.

It all seems so silly now to think about. How could reading too much or staying up reading a book ruin a child?

If only there were a good analogue to today’s culture. What do you think they will look back at us and laugh about?

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