General

Go Read This | Economic perfect storm: The four trends that killed Western growth | City A.M.

As disturbing as it my seem, we live in a world that has more than just publishing and books in it. hence today’s post. A fascinating analysis of where we are in world economics and how we got here (though not always one with which I wholeheartedly agree) can be read at the link below. Perhaps the most interesting idea is around the energy revolution and the coming (if you like) energy crunch, well worth pondering for a while:

The critical equation is the difference between energy extracted and energy consumed in extraction – energy return on energy invested (EROEI). Since the Industrial Revolution, EROEI has been high. Oil discovered in the 1930s provided 100 units of energy for every unit consumed. But EROEI has fallen, as discoveries have become smaller and more costly to extract. The killer factor is the non-linear nature of EROEIs. Once returns ratios fall below 15:1, there is a dramatic “cliff-edge” slump in surplus energy, combined with a sharp escalation in cost. And the global average EROEI may fall to 11:1 by 2020. Energy will be 50 per cent more expensive, in real terms, than today. And this will carry through into the cost of almost everything – including food.

via Economic perfect storm: The four trends that killed Western growth | City A.M..

Go Read This | The Technium: The Post-Productive Economy

Great and interesting post from Kevin Kelly about economic growth and where we are at with it

The main accomplishment of this 3rd Industrialization, the networking of our brains, other brains and other things, is to add something onto the substrate of productivity. Call it consumptity, or generativity. By whatever name we settle on, this frontier expands the creative aspect of the whole system, increasing innovations, expanding possibilities, encouraging the inefficiencies of experiment and exploring, absorbing more of the qualities of play. We don’t have good measurements of these yet. Cynics will regard this as new age naiveté, or unadorned utopianism, or a blindness to the “realities” of real life of greedy corporations, or bad bosses, or the inevitable suffering of real work. It’s not.

via The Technium: The Post-Productive Economy.

Change Is Good

My career in publishing has been one graced by luck, chance and opportunity. I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked at new publishers, established publishers and with a variety of authors, literary organisations and media companies too. The one constant throughout has been change.

Two years ago I established my own company Green Lamp Media. I’ve done more than I could reasonably have hoped in that period, everything from consultancy to publishing. It has been an exceptional experience and rewarding in every way.

Now it’s time for more change.

On Monday 12th September I’ll be joining New Island as Commissioning Editor. I’m looking forward to commissioning a full list again and excited that I’ll be working for a publisher with the heritage that New Island has.

The Irish book industry has experienced several hard years and there’s no reason to expect the next few will be much better so I have no doubt this position will have challenges as well as opportunities, but I’m keen to embrace them all.

I’m delighted too that New Island has agreed to structure the position to enable me to continue editing Irish Publishing News and to work with my existing clients at Green Lamp Media. It’ll mean I’ll be as busy if not busier than ever, but that just means more fun!

Here’s to change,
Eoin

Interesting Link | New era, new god, says Paul Saffo | The Economist

Three technologies have brought us to the edge of another axial shift today. Air travel has given entire populations unprecedented mobility. The intermodal container has delivered a cornucopia of products to every corner of the globe. And cyberspace has become a promiscuous, meme-spreading hotbed of ideas.

Throw in the usual round of human misery served up by war, revolution and natural disasters, and the result is a potent cultural Petri dish from which a new god could spring. Populations around the world are struggling to find security and identity in this strange new future-shock world. The rise of fundamentalism is a sure indicator of dissatisfaction with the current religious order. Unhappy believers first look back to their roots for comfort, but origins rarely comfort and thus they will inevitably search for a new god.

via The World in 2036: New era, new god, says Paul Saffo | The Economist.

Some Baking Pics

This is not, nor shall it ever be, a baking blog. But I do bake.

Coming up to Christmas I make sugar cookies based on a recipe given to me by my girlfriend’s aunt in Evantson. I also make gingerbread men from Delia’s recipe online. I could lie and say that I do this for the kids, but the truth is, cookies and gingerbread men are great and especially at Christmas.

We also undertake the rather more grueling task of 144 mince pies, made with our own mincemeat (always fun) and my girlfriends pastry (buttery, crumbly goodness).

Whereas I’m a messy kitchen hand, others in the house are not, so I tend to make my cookie dough in advance of baking and I did that tonight (along with wrapping some gifts it really made the night PRETTY  Christmassy) and I thought I’d share a gallery for the fun of it!

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They are both sitting pretty in the fridge right now waiting for tomorrow (or maybe even Thursday) when I break them out, roll them, cook them and ice/sprinkle them! Even more fun on the way!

Merry Christmas,
Eoin

Go Read This | The REAL ‘Stuff White People Like’ « OkTrends

I’m lucky enough to know very little about the online dating world or what it can teach us, that said, finding a new source of data about self expressed interests IS a fascinating thing.

The folks at the OKTrends blog from OKCupid have a thoroughly interesting post about the differences between races, as expressed by self selected groups of those races. Very interesting indeed!

As for the interests of white women, you have romance novels, some country music, and a broad selection of Good Housekeeping type stuff. It’s also amazing the extent to which their list shows a pastoral or rural self-mythology: bonfires, boating, horseback riding, thunderstorms. I remind you that OkCupid’s user base is almost all in large cities, where to one degree or another, if you find yourself doing much of any of these things, civilization has come to an end.

via The REAL ‘Stuff White People Like’ « OkTrends.

The Founder Of Waterstones & The Publisher Of The Life Of Pi Discuss The Future Of Books

I’m chairing an absolutely amazing panel of speakers this weekend at the Mountains To Sea book festival.
The discussion is about books, readers and writers in the digital age. I’m including the description below and tickets can be booked HERE

Readers, Writers and the Digital Revolution
Recently, Jeff Bezos reported that Amazon now sells more e-books than new hardbacks. What does this portend for the future of reading? Are traditional bookshops, the paperback, the novel itself facing extinction? A stellar panel of experts debates the question – how will we be reading in the year 2020?

Tim Waterstone was the greatest bookseller of his generation. Founded in 1982, the Waterstone’s chain changed our reading and book-buying habits fundamentally. He sold Waterstone’s in 1993 and is now a novelist and business speaker.

Rachel Cooke is a writer and columnist at The Observer and The New Statesman. In 2006, she was named Interviewer of the Year at the British Press Awards. She is an impassioned champion of books and libraries.

Jamie Byng is among the most dynamic of UK publishers. In his mid-twenties he bought out Canongate Books, and turned it into an ultra-hip haven for writers as diverse as Yann Martel, Nick Cave and Barack Obama.

Matthew Kneale is the author of five novels the most famous of which,English Passengers, won the Whitbread Award in 2000. He was born in London, read history at Oxford and now lives in Rome.

The discussion will be moderated by Eoin Purcell Editor, Irish Publishing News.