Quote of the week, Bonus Edition: Socrates on the “book”

From Thomas West’s Thinking Like Einstein:

Long ago, Socrates described some second thoughts he had about the new and questionable technology called a “book”. He thought it had several weaknesses. A book could not adjust what it was saying, as a living person would, to what would be appropriate for certain listeners or specific times or places. In addition, a book could not be interactive, as in a conversation or dialogue between persons. And finally, according to Socrates, in a book the written words “seem to talk to you as if they were intelligent, but if you ask them anything about what they say, from a desire to be instructed, they go on telling you just the same thing forever.”

[Socrates then went on to say, “It’s been five weeks since the book was introduced, and I don’t see that many people using it — books are so over.”]