Well worth reading, certainly gets the head thinking and the blood up, it sounds very exciting:
If the United States is an ocean, its creative, media and technology industries split over the vastness of North America, London is a pond, in a non-pejorative sense. Ponds are ferociously competitive and fecund areas. New York of course has Silicon Alley, and at one remove perhaps I am totally missing the buzz of what is really happening in Brooklyn lofts, and perhaps too I am overlooking much of the undoubtedly brilliant work taking place on the Continent and elsewhere. Equally I’m not doing down the rest of the UK – Britain is a closely knit place, and London sits at the centre of a web that spans the whole country. There is a huge amount of traffic between London, Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Manchester and other centres of books and technology, but the tight cluster of London sits at the heart of it all. Clusters, after all, are by definition geographically limited. Nor is it to be complacent; complacency isn’t an option in such an environment.
via The London cluster | FutureBook.
On Wednesday I spoke at an inspiring event, the LitNet NI Literature Forum in Belfast. It was hosted by the Arts Council Of Northern Ireland and organised by Catherine McInerney of LitNet NI.
It brings together an amazing range of voices and opinions from the literary and publishing sectors in Northern Ireland, from agents to writers, arts officers to librarians, with a good sprinkling of organisers, poets, publishers and academics.
There was a great energy in the room and while the forum is ony a few months old, it seems to have a real head of steam. My read on the future was that it was secure. It seems ready to grow beyond its original founding and beyond indeed the LitNet NI beginnings into a truly inclusive voice for the literary & commercial publishing and reading sector in Norther Ireland.
So you can see why I found it inspiring, but there’s more.
The same day and the same event was the venue for the sectoral launch of PublishingNI a new company dedicated to promoting and growing Northern Irish publishing and writing.
There’s a real energy and passion at work in Northern Irish publishing sector right now and I was excited and pleased to be part of it.
As for what I spoke about, well I started off with a dispassionate overview of how digital publishing and distribution were fundamentally reshaping the world of books and literature, changing models we have come to see as ‘the right way’ of doing things. I got a little carried away towards the end of the talk and discussed the need for a concerted response from the entire reading and writing sector to the encroachment of technology firms intent and leading the sector in a direction of their choosing. Maybe it was in the air.
But then again, maybe it was a bit intemperate, but it’s not untrue.
Seth’s no fool. This is, for want of a better description, his own business ideas imprint. With his status, connections and publicity generating ability, I’d warrant it’ll come off too.
It’ll be fun to see how this goes:
The Domino Project is named for the domino effect—ideas can quickly spread, moving through a previously static set up. Our mission isn’t to become a promotional machine, focused on interrupting large numbers of people or having significant promotional chops through traditional media. Instead, were grabbing the opportunity to choose and deliver manifestos that are optimized for the tribe, for the small group that wants to grab them, inhale them and spread them. The good ones will spread, first from person to person, then from one circle to another, and eventually into large groups.That’s a lot to absorb for one post. I’ve been working on the ideas behind The Domino Project since I published my very first book in 1986. The first manifestos won’t be out for a few months, but you can learn more as we go by following the Domino Project blog here.
via Seths Blog: The Domino Project.
This is just one part of a rather great article, but it’s the part that struck me! The whole piece is well worth reading!
In addition to a much faster rate of adoption there is a second important distinction to be made between the print and Internet revolutions. The print revolution was merely a production revolution. We had books before 1455. Gutenberg did not invent a new thing, he simply changed the way an exiting thing is produced. This resulted, eventually, in mass literacy, enabled the creation of new information formats such as newspapers, journals, and magazines, and had other profound consequences—but at the end of the day, we are just talking about a more efficient means of production.
Networked computing has indeed revolutionized the means of production once again. With networked computers we can compose and produce information products far more efficiently than ever before. However, the net also impacts the means of dissemination. One no longer needs to print anything. Publishing, as readers of this blog well know, increasingly does not include paper. This a profound change, and one that impacts publishing to a far greater extent than other industries.
via Sounding the Revolution « The Scholarly Kitchen.
Smart AND simple!
But some of us write and read on computer screens. For that, it still makes sense to have text lines that are not too long for comprehension and to have screens that can show us quite a few lines of text at once. That is, our ideal screen would be something more like the shape of an 8×11 sheet of paper, taller than it is wide.
via Christopher Moore’s History News: HIstory of Technology.
Well worth reading this today from Martyn Daniels and an interesting counter point to the previously tweeted video from O’Reilly Radar. To me, this is why capitalism works, because as economies grow and develop they push standard of living higher and increase income across the board, especially as countries play to their competitive advantages. Fascinating to see it impact hugh-tech companies so rapidly.
The most interesting point is that counties such as China and India no longer want the low end assembly and service work. “China doesn’t want to be the workshop of the world anymore,” says Pietra Rivoli, a professor of international business at Georgetown University. India is already maturing as a workforce and aspirations and wages are growing fast. The question is will the West pay more or simply flow to the next cheap source of labour?
via Brave New World: Chasing Cheap Labour in a Digital World.
Sometimes silly ideas catch my eye
For a very short while I was enamoured by the idea that our 50 years was moving slower in a technology sense than previous blocks of 50 years. For a while I agreed with the concept thoughtlessly and then I realised it was hokum.
Change never happens in exactly the same way and often the most incredible changes of the past block of years are things we rarely account for. And even allowing for that sometimes we take enormous change and see it as mundane because we lack the right perspective. Rob over at snowbooks posts today on the very point:
The CRAY-1A had a 12.5-nanosecond clock, 64 vector registers, and 1 million 64-bit words of high-speed memory.” All very impressive I’m sure, but my current mobile phone could give it a very serious run for its money – and probably beat it for many types of calculation.
Well worth reading.
I’d also advise reading The Shock of the Old by David Edgerton which although it doesn’t make the same point I’m making is nonetheless an excellent perspective on innovation and technological advances. You can buy that here*.
Rob’s got me thinking
*Non affliated so I don’t make any money!