Being an ancient, my PhD was earned in 1968 so it was Pre-Hard-Disk and in somewhat later days I felt my graduate students should write at least two theses. Then the Internet with all the world’s libraries available as well as any number of specialist collections, art musea, and so forth. At least four theses. Right now I am diving into library eBooks coupled with some iPad2 apps as well as my laptop. So now one can get a great number of titles, some rather fresh, for about two weeks instantly from any library system you have access to. In my case, New York City, Westchester, and Greenwich Ct. Life is good.
Of course expired copyright books, which include all the classics and then some are free for permanent download on any number of eReaders, esp. Kindle, which has an immense collection. I understand Amazon and the American Library Association have already inked, as they say in Variety, an agreement to make eBooks available for loan to Kindle Readers. And of course Netflix has at least hundreds, soon to be many thousands, of titles available for instant video streaming. iTunes music is old hat as well as podcasts and videocasts. You can buy 4 terabytes of storage for less than what 20 megabytes used to cost.
As I result, I read no books, absorb no painting, see few films, hear no music, read few articles. But I do have the equivalent of dozens of open books on dozens of virtual desks, glimpses of quick color and dashed lines unpursued, opening bars but no further in any score, opening film credits and teasers standing alone, interviews initiated, first scenes of first acts.
In fact nothing nearly as complete as Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony. As the Carpenters used to sing, We’ve Only Just Begun.
So now I see that if you do not finish a task, you can expand your multi-tasking indefinitely.
Wait! This just in . . .