Today's Mighty Oak

Goodreads has a good article up about the elimination of the Middleman in book sales and publishing.  Am I the only one who is scared about the loss of book stores?  Don’t get me wrong, I tend to buy a lot of books from both book stores and Amazon.  But I like my experience better at the store.  I can ask the sales associates for their recommendations, take my time, and maybe even write a book (we’re thinking of doing our NaNoWriMo write-ins at Barnes and Noble this year).

And additionally, I can’t quite figure out where Goodreads is coming from, it’s almost as if they’re advocating for what Amazing is saying, get rid of the middle man and let everyone publish themselves.  The commenters bring up the valid point that without the publishing houses, how else will all the horrible books be taken out of the pile.

Anyway, it’s an interesting read, and it’s a scary, busy time in publishing, that’s for sure.

An interesting article over at Slog:

Those pundits and politicians who still insist that the Occupy protesters don’t have a coherent message need to bone up on their Marshall McLuhan: The medium is the message. And the protest is the medium. What’s so hard to understand about that?

But perhaps no aspect of these protests better illustrates McLuhan’s thesis than “the People’s mic,” which as silly as it may sound, and as mundane as its content may sometimes be, is a medium that inherently expresses a powerful message of solidarity and defiance, in and of itself.

Once again, JoHo reminds me of something that is easy to forget, but a basic truth:

The Internet is not a medium. We are the medium

JoHo points me to this article, touting the death of web 2.0 next October.  And truth be told, it’s hard to take the date seriously (more in a moment), it’s really a measure of the mentions of the phrase “web 2.0.”  And while that may be true, I think we’re here to stay, at least for a while longer.

Although, just to add, it’s hard to take the article seriously, since it seems to seriously consider Orkut a big-time social network.

Anyway, I tend to agree with JoHo on this, just because this period of the Internet is more focused on user-driven and user-created content, does not mean we’re going to leave that.  The Internet is a conversation, and this period is a time when those previously consuming are now engaged, for good or for ill, and actively participating in the conversation.

Will the conversation ebb back to the other side?  We’ll have to wait and see, although I’m thinking we’re going to see a mix, and something new, in the future.  I do like how the ending of the article was phrased:

The big question, of course, is what will Web 3.0 be like? And the answer, I suppose, is that if we knew that then we wouldn’t be here.

While I don’t think the current legislation goes far enough, I have to at least realize it’s a start for Net Neutrality.  However, Verizon is suing to block what will go into affect in two months.

HuffPo has the story here.

I’m unable at the moment (while I’m still trying to fix the backend, and quite frankly, some of the front) of the new site) to post the videos that go along with this article, but it’s worth a read: a college newspaper does an entire edition without technology.

I copy edit by hand, I miss too many things if I’m only looking at it on the screen.  And I’ve done extremely simple layouts by hand, but doing an entire issue would not only be a fun challenge, but also amazingly crazy!


I used to work for GameStop, and when I have the time, I love to play video games (certain ones, in particular, not really into FPS), so it’s nice to see the supreme court realize that it’s not video games at fault, but the fact that parents need to parent:

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down on First Amendment grounds a California law that barred the sale of violent video games to children.

Again, parents need to be involved in the lives of their children.  Heaven forbid.

Slog covers it here.

JoHo has a great post about copyright:

Culture does not exist simply to enlighten us.

Culture’s far more common role is to give us something to talk about.

If we have nothing to talk about, nations divide over unreasonable differences, communities reduce to parking regulations, and marriages end in dinnertime squabbles.

To talk about things in a depth that binds requires freely accessing, citing, quoting, pointing, and linking.

Therefore, for the sake of our nation, communities, and marriages, we need to loosen copyright’s hold.


I love the idea of opening up conversations, although I don’t tend to take it to the end of ending conflict.  I think I’m more prone to just assume that happens when people talk, without ever realizing I was thinking that.

Interesting things to think about it, especially in light of marriage equality coming to New York last night, with the last line about marriages.

Two thoughts about Net Neutrality.

First, what could be the grim reality:

It’s very simple. Once we have lost Net neutrality and the access providers are given a free hand to charge Internet companies for delivering their bits faster and more reliably than their competitors’ bits, we will experience this simply as how the Internet works, not as an artificial constraint put in to benefit the access providers.

The argument continues that this will destroy advancement and innovation.  Read the whole post here.

David Barton is probably a name you don’t recognize.  However, he has the ear of Mike Huckabee (who thinks that everyone should be forced, at gunpoint no less, to listen to Barton’s message of Christian Theocracy of the United States).  He says that Jesus railed against Net Neutrality.

I’ll let that sink in for just a moment.

I’m hoping you were able to shove the leaking gray matter back into your brain.  It hurts so much.  I don’t ever remember Jesus saying something along the lines of “And blessed are the corporations, who pay to have their information delivered in a more timely manner, telling us what is important, via the intertubes.  Cursed are those who believe that all data should be delivered at the same speed and with the same preference, for theirs is a miserable life, cursed to burn for all eternity.”


Slate has an interesting article about how newspapers in the 1700’s routinely left extra space for readers to leave comments and notes, as well as add their own items:

These amendments weren’t aimless jottings, either. Newspapers were routinely shared after purchase, and the notes readers added in the spaces and margins were designed to edify the friend or acquaintance the reader next forwarded his paper to.

It’s like comments as well as citizen journalism all through a very early medium with a limited audience.

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