“Someone worked really hard to make the language just right, just the way they wanted it. They were so sure of it that they printed it in ink, on paper. A screen always feels like we could delete that, change that, move it around. So for a literature-crazed person like me, it’s just not permanent enough.” [Jonathan Franzen]
[Franzen’s] speech raised heated discussions in newspaper columns and on the internet. The focus was mainly on defending technology and e-books as a viable and improved evolution, and on how he was being retrograde. What was missing from the discourse was the fact that technology has also violently altered printed books in a way from which there is no return. We are so disconnected from the means of production that nobody seems to be aware that books are produced very differently then they were 100 years ago. Digital files are exchanged between writers, publishers and printers all over the world.
In the context of the Piracy Project, which we initiated in London in 2010, we discovered cases, which not only took control over the object, but over the content. Inspired by Daniel Alarcon’s article in Granta magazine, “Life Among Pirates”, we traveled to Peru and discovered, for instance, a pirated version of Jaime Bayly’s novel No se lo digas a nadie with two extra chapters added. This physical object may look obviously pirated to a trained eye but could easily pass as the original if you were not looking for differences. The extra chapters are good, good enough to pass undetected by readers.
Rhizome | The Impermanent Book
Data specialist and journalism professor Matt Waite makes this argument in his defence of “algorithms for journalism.” In effect, he says, we can use robots or automated tools to do what those things have always done — namely, take away boring and repetitive tasks that human beings have always done, and make it easier for them to focus on the things they do that really add value, in ways that only humans can. — Are robots and content farms the future of the news? — Tech News and Analysis
At the same time, the New Criticism emerged blinking and bitching onto the scene; and so whole generation of literary critics was weaned on a vocabulary that understood how to parse and praise the rarefied pursuit of language and form, but not the plebeian one of plot and imagination — Fantasy’s moment has come | Molly Flatt (via deathbeard)
I remember thinking that this would be a pretty harmless easter egg, that no one would really use it, but I was very wrong. When we released Netscape Navigator 1.0 we did not document the blink functionality in any way, and for a while all was quiet. Then somewhere, somehow the arcane knowledge of blinking leaked into the real world and suddenly everything was blinking. “Look here”, “buy this”, “check this out”, all blinking. Large advertisements blinking in all their glory. It was a lot like Las Vegas, except it was on my screen, with no way of turning it off. — the origin of the <blink> tag - www (via iamdanw)
“The Descriptive Camera works a lot like a regular camera—point it at subject and press the shutter button to capture the scene. However, instead of producing an image, this prototype outputs a text description of the scene.”
Descriptive Camera, via Tom T
(Uses Mechanical Turk to create human descriptions of photographs.)
(via Start - DE RIGUEUR People, clothes etc.)