Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

A Big Digital Kiss to Britannica: Change — It Is Okay (Look It Up!)

The folks over at Encyclopaedia Britannica posted today to say they are discontinuing the 32-volume printed book edition of the invaluable information resource “when our current inventory is gone.”

It’s an obvious and inevitable move — although I deeply loved my giant set of tomes back in the day. But my favorite part of the transition is how the organization handled it with class and forwardness, with a blog post titled: “Change: It’s Okay. Really.”

Really it is, in this case at least.

In a simple but elegant set of words, they wrote about its history:

For 244 years, the thick volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica have stood on the shelves of homes, libraries, and businesses everywhere, a source of enlightenment as well as comfort to their owners and users around the world.

They’ve always been there. Year after year. Since 1768. Every. Single. Day.

But not forever.

Indeed, as Kansas sings, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky. And Britannica Online for now.

Here is a funktastic video Encyclopaedia Britannica did that communicates its next life aptly via YouTube:


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik