Why might too much digital participation be corroding empathy, whether online or offline? Turkle is at her weakest on this connection, which sends her scurrying to Thoreau for homilies about the value of solitude. For a better answer, it makes sense to consider how humans interact in their purely digital relations. That is the implicit concern of Joseph M. Reagle Jr., a communications professor at Northeastern University. In Reading the Comments , he focuses on the way people relate to one another through the digital genre that he defines as social, reactive, short, asynchronous, and pervasive. To him, this “bottom of the Web” includes everything from Facebook sharing to bulletin board systems ( BBS ) to user-generated product reviews on Amazon.
Since then, other companies, such as SiPix , have come out with electrophoretic display technologies. In the last four years, we have also seen companies like HP and Fujitsu bring out flexible displays that use cholesteric LCD technology. (Cholesteric refers to the phase of a liquid crystal in which the molecules are aligned in a specific manner. In Fujitsu’s case, for example, up to 50 percent of incident light in specific wavelengths and colors is reflected). E-paper has to be a cheap, reflective, low power, and preferably bendable, or have rollable display technology, and we are only just seeing the development of the technologies that can deliver this, namely an electrophoretic frontplane bonded to a flexible organic electronic backplane. These are the displays currently on the verge of being launched by Plastic Logic and Polymer Vision .