There's a bit of a major transition going on right now. Pretty much everything we consume: news, music, video, education is going digital. It's easy to show too, pretty much everyone I know reads a large amount of news online. How many people have gotten music from the 'net (either legally or illegally), it's now possible to watch many of the tv shows/movies online (again, both legally and illegally!) and you can now get pretty decent education online (check out iTunes U or Youtube Edu for obvious examples).
And the stalwart, books is now transitioning to digital - my sister got a Sony ebook reader for Christmas and I can see how that's going to change the book and newspaper market. Not that some aren't complaining - amazingly, taking one example, The New York Times annual printing and staff costs are an estimated Billion dollars (search businessweek for the article)! There argument is that they could actually GIVE every one of their customers a free ebook reader and it would still be cheaper than printing. And think about the daft amounts of paper/tree wastage from all these papers that get read once......
So, the question is, what's being lost? Obviously, there's a massive changeover in jobs as businesses are forced to adapt (to something they should have had the vision to expand to anyway), and in many ways digital media just isn't the same as physical items. But is anything else? Cultural (hard to imagine, if anything more/everythingis preserved nowadays)? And while there will be lots of complaints about the benefits of paper, I'm sure there was moans from the changeover from stone carvings to new methods of recording also.
Don't get me wrong, it's not going to happen overnight, but now that the newspaper companies are offering their own subscriptions to ebooks, how long do you think it'll take before most content is receivied this way?
And just to show that it's a time of major change, this whole post, and the photo editing (including all special effects) was completed on an iPhone while traveling at 70 miles an hour on a motorway (on a bus).....when else did we have the opportunity to write complete drivel and post it to the whole world (in many ways that's a bad point of all this :) instantaneously?!?!
And yes, I'm bored. On a bus.