In any revolution, there are always those—considered wise and thoughtful—who say Too Soon, Not Now, Not Yet. History regards them poorly.— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) October 6, 2014
Tech Specs of a Paper Book:
Readable with any form of light
Very high contrast display
Requires no battery power
Depending on model, lasts anywhere from five to five thousand years or more
Immersive and non-distracting user interface
Offers a spatial layout for immediate access to random information
Conforms to the standardized “page number” spec for easy reference
Supports direct interaction via pen or highlighter
DRM-free for easy lending and resale
Standards-based system not controlled by any single corporation or entity
Crash-proof and immune to viruses (though vulnerable to some worms)
Easy to learn user-interface consistent across most manufacturers
Supports very large number of colors and also black and white images
Compatible with a wide variety of note taking systems
Technology that is new is not inherently better. Technology that is old and still widely used has by definition survived a healthy Darwinian process, to the benefit of all.
But when you talk about Nabokov and Coover, you’re talking about real geniuses, the writers who weathered real shock and invented this stuff in contemporary fiction. But after the pioneers always come the crank turners, the little gray people who take the machines others have built and just turn the crank, and little pellets of metafiction come out the other end. The crank-turners capitalize for a while on sheer fashion, and they get their plaudits and grants and buy their IRAs and retire to the Hamptons well out of range of the eventual blast radius.
There are some interesting parallels between postmodern crank-turners and what’s happened since post-structural theory took off here in the U.S., why there’s such a big backlash against post-structuralism going on now. It’s the crank-turners fault. I think the crank-turners replaced the critic as the real angel of death as far as literary movements are concerned, now. You get some bona fide artists who come along and really divide by zero and weather some serious shit-storms of shock and ridicule in order to promulgate some really important ideas. Once they triumph, though, and their ideas become legitimate and accepted, the crank-turners and wannabes come running to the machine, and out pour the gray pellets and now the whole thing’s become a hollow form, just another institution of fashion.
Take a look at some of the critical-theory Ph.D. dissertations being written now. They’re like de Man and Foucault in the mouth of a dull child. Academia and commercial culture have somehow become these gigantic mechanisms of commodification that drain the weight and color out of even the most radical new advances. It’s a surreal inversion of the death-by-neglect that used to kill off prescient art. Now prescient art suffers death-by acceptance.
We love things to death, now. Then we retire to the Hamptons.
- David Foster Wallace
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Mary Oliver    Tweet
For those who ask, I’m on twitter because media is out and we need accurate accounts on the ground. #Ferguson— justified agitator (@Awkward_Duck) August 19, 2014