Saturday, February 3, 2018

I'll be generous and call Audible a very small step in the right direction

Ok, so the thing that successful people have in common is that they read, except that none of the successful (I mean, look at these houses!  Check out those home gyms!  And they are busy, too!) people we see in this ad are actually reading.

It's because they are busy- you see, they may have become successful by reading, but now they don't have time to read (too busy being successful) but to stay successful they have to keep reading, so they listen instead.  Listening is just as good as reading- that's the mindset that weaned kids away from books to radio in the 1940s.  And Watching is as good as Listening, which convinced the offspring of those radio-listeners that Television was the New Radio.  So watching tv and reading a book are basically the same thing.

No, wait- according to Audible, reading and  listening are the same thing.  In fact, listening in at least some (all?) cases is superior to reading- when you're working out in your suburban palace or driving around, for example (though I must say, as a pedestrian, I would really rather not have people conjuring up images of what they are listening to while operating that heavy machinery through cross-walks and intersections.  I suppose this is marginally better than having them staring at their phones or dashboards, however.)

I don't want to be too hard on Audible- I do think that Listening is superior to Watching.  At least your brain is getting some exercise, and I totally agree that this is a benefit to joggers and gym rats who for obvious reasons can't read while also working out.  I might try this myself someday.  But right now I have to start reading the Kindle edition of Ron Chernow's biography Hamilton, which I purchased seconds before starting to write this post.  I didn't buy the additional audible option, because I think that with very rare exceptions like the ones I listed, Reading is the new Reading, and it's really not replaceable.

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