Over Time

• the stories humans told around campfires and the ensuing conversation

then humans found a way to move those stories across time and space
• the stories and ideas humans carved into rocks
• the stories and ideas humans wrote on papyrus scrolls
• the stories and ideas humans hand-wrote and then printed on sheaths of bound paper

then when interactive media was developed
• the notion of the page expanded to include audio/video and limited interaction

and then when interactive media combined with the internet a book became
• a PLACE where humans shared stories and ideas and discussed them, returning us back to the beginning

—Bob Stein


Bob Stein is founder and Co-Director of the Institute for the Future of the Book and founder of The Voyager Company. For 13 years he led the development of over 300 titles in The Criterion Collection, a series of definitive films on videodisc, and more than 75 CD ROM titles including the CD Companion to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Who Built America, and the Voyager edition of Macbeth. Previous to Voyager, Stein worked with Alan Kay in the Research Group at Atari on a variety of electronic publishing projects. 11 years ago, Stein started ‘Night Kitchen’ to develop authoring tools for the next generation of electronic publishing. A 2017 TED Resident, Stein’s recent projects include SocialBook and Lectory.

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