I agree - the Opus argument is odd (unmotivated hysteria) and trite. However, I think I see a clue in the hypermediated camera-screen arrangement trained on Opus during the conversation, so that Opus can only interact with his interlocuter via talking on-screen (web comics, anyone?)
The argument, simply put, is that a book is a physical object. When you are asleep, it is still there, almost vulgar in robust truth. An internet-recalled file, on the other hand, is not “there.”
Stupid? Yes. The file is just a real, it is just a really different real.
However, in defense of Opus, I’d like to point out that there is a technorati argument that looks a lot like this Luddite one. When dealing with proprietary file formats and *especially* DRM, don’t think just because you are reading the first page on your screen now that you actually have the book. You may wake up in bed the next morning and find that, in fact, you don’t. Digital Millenium-type logic constantly insists that, despite the DVD being in your player, your right to watch is endlessly contingent. The book on the other hand is an artifact of an era where, barring breaking and entering, you wake up with it next to you. With digital media the other owners have already snuck into your house, and might at any moment spirit it away.]]>