‘How the Internet Gets Inside Us‘ by Adam Gopnik at The New Yorker.
…if you stretch out the time scale enough, and are sufficiently casual about causes, you can give the printing press credit for anything you like. But all the media of modern consciousness—from the printing press to radio and the movies—were used just as readily by authoritarian reactionaries, and then by modern totalitarians, to reduce liberty and enforce conformity as they ever were by libertarians to expand it. As Andrew Pettegree shows in his fine new study, “The Book in the Renaissance,” the mainstay of the printing revolution in seventeenth-century Europe was not dissident pamphlets but royal edicts, printed by the thousand: almost all the new media of that day were working, in essence, for kinglouis.gov.
‘Corporate Rule of Cyberspace‘ by Slavoj Žižek at InsideHigherEd.com.
…whether it be Apple or Microsoft, global access is increasingly grounded in the virtually monopolistic privatization of the cloud which provides this access. The more an individual user is given access to universal public space, the more that space is privatized.
…Partisans of openness like to criticize China for its attempt to control internet access — but are we not all becoming involved in something comparable, insofar as our “cloud” functions in a way not dissimilar to the Chinese state?
‘Fool Me Once‘ by Agent Orange at FutureBook.net.
If there is any organization on the planet with a real understanding of the value of the e-book market it is Amazon and the fact that they are honing in fast on publishers’ territory is the clearest possible indicator there could possibly be of the viability and potential buoyancy of the publishing business.
The conglomerates dog in the manger approach to the issue of e-books is doing them no favours. The day is fast approaching when a truly major international author will realize they are going to be greatly better rewarded by being published by Amazon because they will offer them a sensible share of the revenues they generate.