Umberto Eco Massimo Valicchia/ZumaPress

La imaginación virtual

MILAN: ¿Acaso los libros, a través del poder de las computadoras y de internet, habrán de transformarse en “estructuras de hipertexto” ilimitadas en las que el lector será también autor?

Hoy en día, existen dos tipos de libros: aquéllos que se leen y aquéllos que se consultan. Con los libros para leer se empieza en la página 1 donde, digamos, el autor explica que se ha cometido un crimen. El lector continúa hasta el final, cuando descubre quién es el culpable. Fin del libro y de la experiencia lectora. Lo mismo sucede aun si se lee sobre filosofía, digamos, Husserl. El autor inicia en la primera página y sigue una serie de cuestiones en orden para que el lector entienda cómo llega a sus conclusiones.

Las enciclopedias, por supuesto, no están hechas para leerse de corrido. Si quiero saber si fue posible que Napoleón conociera a Kant, tomo los volúmenes K y N y descubro que Napoleón nació en 1769 y murió en 1821, mientras que Kant nació en 1724 y murió en 1804. Es posible que los dos se hayan conocido. Para saberlo con precisión, consulto una biografía de Kant. Una biografía de Napoleón, quien conoció a mucha gente, podría obviar un encuentro con Kant; una biografía de Kant, no.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in;
  1. China corruption Isaac Lawrence/Getty Images

    The Next Battle in China’s War on Corruption

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping knows well the threat that corruption poses to the authority of the Communist Party of China and the state it controls. 
    • But moving beyond Xi's anti-corruption purge to build robust and lasting anti-graft institutions will not be easy, owing to enduring opportunities for bureaucratic capture.
  2. Italy unemployed demonstration SalvatoreEsposito/Barcroftimages / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    Putting Europe’s Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work

    Across the European Union, millions of people who are willing and able to work have been unemployed for a year or longer, at great cost to social cohesion and political stability. If the EU is serious about stopping the rise of populism, it will need to do more to ensure that labor markets are working for everyone.

  3. Latin America market Federico Parra/Getty Images

    A Belt and Road for the Americas?

    In a time of global uncertainty, a vision of “made in the Americas” prosperity provides a unifying agenda for the continent. If implemented, the US could reassert its historical leadership among a group of countries that share its fundamental values, as well as an interest in inclusive economic growth and rising living standards.

  4. Startup office Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    How Best to Promote Research and Development

    Clearly, there is something appealing about a start-up-based innovation strategy: it feels democratic, accessible, and so California. But it is definitely not the only way to boost research and development, or even the main way, and it is certainly not the way most major innovations in the US came about during the twentieth century.

  5. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.