Russian/American scientist and author, Isaac Asimov, once wrote: Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today — but the core of science fiction, its essence, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.
Tagged with “books” (36)
Universal access to all knowledge, Kahle declared, will be one of humanity’s greatest achievements. We are already well on the way. "We’re building the Library of Alexandria, version 2. We can one-up the Greeks!"
Start with what the ancient library had—-books. The Internet Library already has 3 million books digitized. With its Scribe Book Scanner robots—-29 of them around the world—-they’re churning out a thousand books a day digitized into every handy ebook format, including robot-audio for the blind and dyslexic. Even modern heavily copyrighted books are being made available for free as lending-library ebooks you can borrow from physical libraries—-100,000 such books so far. (Kahle announced that every citizen of California is now eligible to borrow online from the Oakland Library’s "ePort.")
As for music, Kahle noted that the 2-3 million records ever made are intensely litigated, so the Internet Archive offered music makers free unlimited storage of their works forever, and the music poured in. The Archive audio collection has 100,000 concerts so far (including all the Grateful Dead) and a million recordings, with three new bands every day uploading.
Moving images. The 150,000 commercial movies ever made are tightly controlled, but 2 million other films are readily available and fascinating—-600,000 of them are accessible in the Archive already. In the year 2000, without asking anyone’s permission, the Internet Archive started recording 20 channels of TV all day, every day. When 9/11 happened, they were able to assemble an online archive of TV news coverage all that week from around the world ("TV comes with a point of view!") and make it available just a month after the event on Oct. 11, 2001.
The Web itself. When the Internet Archive began in 1996, there were just 30 million web pages. Now the Wayback Machine copies every page of every website every two months and makes them time-searchable from its 6-petabyte database of 150 billion pages. It has 500,000 users a day making 6,000 queries a second.
"What is the Library of Alexandria most famous for?" Kahle asked. "For burning! It’s all gone!" To maintain digital archives, they have to be used and loved, with every byte migrated forward into new media evey five years. For backup, the whole Internet Archive is mirrored at the new Bibliotheca Alexadrina in Egypt and in Amsterdam. ("So our earthquake zone archive is backed up in the turbulent Mideast and a flood zone. I won’t sleep well until there are five or six backup sites.")
Speaking of institutional longevity, Kahle noted during the Q & A that nonprofits demonstrably live much longer than businesses. It might be it’s because they have softer edges, he surmised, or that they’re free of the grow-or-die demands of commercial competition. Whatever the cause, they are proliferating.
Cathi Bond is here to talk about the trend of niche publications – having a subscription that’s not to a magazine, but to actual physical objects that come in the mail. It’s a different, analog approach to customization. Hyper-curated almost. And Cathi and Nora wonder if it’s an example of a post-digital fetishization of artifacts.
For some kinds of books the writing is on the wall, but the concept of the book itself will survive, adapting to new technologies in the delivery of words, argues James Gleick in this timely and provocative Sydney Writers’ Festival Closing Address. The question is: Can we adapt? Gleick is an author, journalist and biographer whose books explore the cultural ramifications of science and technology. His most recent publication, The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, is being hailed as his crowning work. Gleick is the author of the bestselling Chaos, Genius and Faster, and has penned a biography of Isaac Newton. Three of Gleick’s books have been Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalists, and translated into more than 20 languages.
James Gleick’s closing address at the @SydWritersFest On the future of the book http://t.co/A2lBV17
What does 21st-century technology hold for the printed word? Last week academics, librarians, publishers and writers descended on the Villa Reale, near Milan, to find out.
We hear from a Senegalese publisher struggling with the differences between west and south, from an Argentinian innovator who keeps his office on a laptop and a digital designer who has put Wikipedia between hard covers.
Harvard professor Robert Darnton explains why, far from killing off the book, the new digital technologies are giving it a new life, while the Chilean novelist Antonio Skarmeta – author of Il Postino – asks how the writer is going to make a living in the new world. The American teacher Esther Wojcici suggests that the answer may lie in a radical new form of copyright.
There’s a lot of talk about what the future of publishing looks like. Designers and innovators draw up these artistic visualizations of tablets, touchscreens, and interactive multimedia literature mashups to illustrate the possibilities.
But one designer is thinking a lot more about what is lost in the transition from the physical book to the digital. In fact, his visualizations often flip the script by placing digital literature in the physical context.
James Bridle is an editor, publisher, designer, and innovator. One of his most recent projects was a physical production of the complete changelogs from the Wikipedia entry on the Iraq War. The project amounted to twelve volumes of almost 7,000 pages, including all the changes, discussions, and arguments logged in the process of producing the never-complete Wikipedia article from December 2004 to November 2009.
He’s created a number of other projects to highlight the impermanence of the web and provoke conversation on the e-book, both the efficiencies and deficiencies thereof. The Harvard Library Innovation Lab’s very own David Weinberger spoke with James by Skype about his work for the first ever episode of Library Lab/The Podcast.
We need to decouple the idea of ‘book’ from the mental image we carry around of ‘book.’ The innovation and benefit that digital brings to books and publishing lies less in how digital affects final artifacts, and more in how digital affects the systems leading up to and extending beyond those artifacts.
Duane Bray, a partner at the design and innovation consultancy IDEO, and Robert Lenne, an Interaction Designer also from IDEO, share their vision for the future of the book. Could linking discussions and connecting readers change the way we experience our favorite stories?
Last episode of the year! Cory has a new project that is awesome, you should check it out.
The internet has been around long enough now that it has a proper history, and it has started to produce media and artefacts that live in and comment on that history. James will be talking about his work with writing, books and wikipedia that hopes to explain and illuminate this temporal depth.
James Bridle is a publisher, writer and artist based in London, UK. He founded the print-on-demand classics press Bookkake and the e-book-only imprint Artists’ eBooks, and created Bkkeepr, a tool for tracking reading and sharing bookmarks, and Quietube, an accidental anti-censorship proxy for the Middle East. He makes things with words, books and the internet, and writes about what he does at booktwo.org.