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A Book Addict's Defense of the Smartphone | Technology and Learning
"A counterargument to the emerging conventional wisdom"



"Smartphones are either like cigarettes or comic books. Either bad for humans, or good for those who make their living telling us what is bad.

The smartphone worrywarts have some evidence on their side. I’ll get to some disturbing smartphone numbers in a second, but first some smartphone love.

Smartphones are the best thing to happen to book lovers since the paperback. The iPhone is a bookstore, library, and narrator.

The biggest reason that we don’t read more books is not lack of desire, but a shortage of time.

With my iPhone, I’m able to listen to audiobooks while walking, cooking, and cleaning. The Kindle iOS app allows me to read e-books in short bursts. I’ll read a page or two while standing in line at the grocery store, or while eating my morning cereal.

Does the advantages of the iPhone for book discovery, portability and reading outweigh the costs of mobile computing for everything else?

The big worry about smartphones is that they are killing our ability to focus. Productive thinking requires our attention, and smartphones are attention magnets.

On average, smartphone users (which is everyone now) spend 3 hours and 15 minutes a day on their phones. The top 20 percent of smartphone users are on their devices for an average of 4.5 hours per day.

Smartphones have been associated with everything from rising levels of anxiety and depression among teenagers to damaging interpersonal relationships.

Professors find the use of smartphones so distracting for teaching and learning that 1 in 4 has banned them from their classes.

A recent MIT study showed that even a single day with access to their smartphone can cause college students to have elevated levels of stress and anxiety.

Some warning signs of smartphone addiction that I found online include:

• “Difficulty completing chores or work due to concentration issues.”

• "Seclusion from family and friends or using your phone when in conversation.”

• Masking of smartphone use by sneaking off to the bathroom at work.

• “Worry that you’re missing out on something when you’re not with your phone.”

• Feeling "anxious or irritable” when not with your phone

• Sleep problems.

There seems to be a growing acceptance that we can’t control our smartphone actions. A recent NYTimes article called "Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain" (2/23/19) received 495 comments.

Almost half of Americans have tried to limit their smartphone usage in the past, with only 30 percent being successful.

I could go on enumerating all the disturbing smartphone statistics.

My point is not that I don’t think that smartphones can cause problems for attention, focus, and interpersonal relationships. I’ll stipulate that we have not adjusted to the downsides of having the internet - and everything that comes along with the web - in our pockets.

What I am saying is that the advantages of being to store, listen to, and read books - wherever and whenever - outweigh all the smartphone negatives.

The audiobook and the e-book, purchased (or borrowed) and read/listened to on a smartphone, is the game changer for book lovers.

Strangely, the wonderful opportunities to spend more time reading books that smartphones have enabled has gone largely uncelebrated. Academics - we people of the book - should be overjoyed about the potential of the smartphone to increase reading time.

We should be making the argument that the problem with the smartphone is not the device, but how people use it. Delete that Facebook app. Get rid of Twitter. Take the games off the phone. Maybe even remove your e-mail accounts.

Keep the Kindle and Audible apps. (Or whatever e-book and audiobook app that you use).

Think only of the smartphone as a reading device and a bookshelf.

Do you use your phone to read books?"
smartphones  mobile  phones  howweread  reading  joshuakim  infooverload  distraction  kindle  ebooks  audiobooks  access  accessibility  attention  2019 
4 weeks ago by robertogreco
The 'Future Book' Is Here, but It's Not What We Expected | WIRED
"THE FUTURE BOOK was meant to be interactive, moving, alive. Its pages were supposed to be lush with whirling doodads, responsive, hands-on. The old paperback Zork choose-your-own-adventures were just the start. The Future Book would change depending on where you were, how you were feeling. It would incorporate your very environment into its story—the name of the coffee shop you were sitting at, your best friend’s birthday. It would be sly, maybe a little creepy. Definitely programmable. Ulysses would extend indefinitely in any direction you wanted to explore; just tap and some unique, mega-mind-blowing sui generis path of Joycean machine-learned words would wend itself out before your very eyes.

Prognostications about how technology would affect the form of paper books have been with us for centuries. Each new medium was poised to deform or murder the book: newspapers, photography, radio, movies, television, videogames, the internet.

Some viewed the intersection of books and technology more positively: In 1945, Vannevar Bush wrote in The Atlantic: “Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified.”

Researcher Alan Kay created a cardboard prototype of a tablet-like device in 1968. He called it the "Dynabook," saying, “We created a new kind of medium for boosting human thought, for amplifying human intellectual endeavor. We thought it could be as significant as Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press 500 years ago.”

In the 1990s, Future Bookism hit a kind of beautiful fever pitch. We were so close. Brown University professor Robert Coover, in a 1992 New York Times op-ed titled “The End of Books,” wrote of the future of writing: “Fluidity, contingency, indeterminacy, plurality, discontinuity are the hypertext buzzwords of the day, and they seem to be fast becoming principles, in the same way that relativity not so long ago displaced the falling apple.” And then, more broadly: “The print medium is a doomed and outdated technology, a mere curiosity of bygone days destined soon to be consigned forever to those dusty unattended museums we now call libraries.”

Normal books? Bo-ring. Future Books? Awesome—indeterminate—and we were almost there! The Voyager Company built its "expanded books" platform on Hypercard, launching with three titles at MacWorld 1992. Microsoft launched Encarta on CD-ROM.

But … by the mid-2000s, there still were no real digital books. The Rocket eBook was too little, too early. Sony launched the eink-based Librie platform in 2004 to little uptake. Interactive CD-ROMs had dropped off the map. We had Wikipedia, blogs, and the internet, but the mythological Future Book—some electric slab that would somehow both be like and not like the quartos of yore—had yet to materialize. Peter Meirs, head of technology at Time, hedged his bets perfectly, proclaiming: “Ultimately, there will be some sort of device!”

And then there was. Several devices, actually. The iPhone launched in June 2007, the Kindle that November. Then, in 2010, the iPad arrived. High-resolution screens were suddenly in everyone’s hands and bags. And for a brief moment during the early 2010s, it seemed like it might finally be here: the glorious Future Book."



"Yet here’s the surprise: We were looking for the Future Book in the wrong place. It’s not the form, necessarily, that needed to evolve—I think we can agree that, in an age of infinite distraction, one of the strongest assets of a “book” as a book is its singular, sustained, distraction-free, blissfully immutable voice. Instead, technology changed everything that enables a book, fomenting a quiet revolution. Funding, printing, fulfillment, community-building—everything leading up to and supporting a book has shifted meaningfully, even if the containers haven’t. Perhaps the form and interactivity of what we consider a “standard book” will change in the future, as screens become as cheap and durable as paper. But the books made today, held in our hands, digital or print, are Future Books, unfuturistic and inert may they seem."

[sections on self-publishing, crowdfunding, email newsletters, social media, audiobooks and podcasts, etc.]



"It turns out smartphones aren’t the best digital book reading devices (too many seductions, real-time travesties, notifications just behind the words), but they make excellent audiobook players, stowed away in pockets while commuting. Top-tier podcasts like Serial, S-Town, and Homecoming have normalized listening to audio or (nonfiction) booklike productions on smartphones."



"Last August, a box arrived on my doorstep that seemed to embody the apotheosis of contemporary publishing. The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition was published via a crowdfunding campaign. The edition includes a book of images, three records, and a small poster packaged in an exquisite box set with supplementary online material. When I held it, I didn’t think about how futuristic it felt, nor did I lament the lack of digital paper or interactivity. I thought: What a strange miracle to be able to publish an object like this today. Something independently produced, complex and beautiful, with foil stamping and thick pages, full-color, in multiple volumes, made into a box set, with an accompanying record and other shimmering artifacts, for a weirdly niche audience, funded by geeks like me who are turned on by the romance of space.

We have arrived to the once imagined Future Book in piecemeal truths.

Moving images were often espoused to be a core part of our Future Book. While rarely found inside of an iBooks or Kindle book, they are here. If you want to learn the ukulele, you don’t search Amazon for a Kindle how-to book, you go to YouTube and binge on hours of lessons, stopping when you need to, rewinding as necessary, learning at your own pace.

Vannevar Bush's “Memex” essentially described Wikipedia built into a desk.

The "Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an iPhone.

In The Book of Sand, Borges wrote of an infinite book: "It was then that the stranger told me: 'Study the page well. You will never see it again.'" Describing in many ways what it feels like to browse the internet or peek at Twitter.

Our Future Book is composed of email, tweets, YouTube videos, mailing lists, crowdfunding campaigns, PDF to .mobi converters, Amazon warehouses, and a surge of hyper-affordable offset printers in places like Hong Kong.

For a “book” is just the endpoint of a latticework of complex infrastructure, made increasingly accessible. Even if the endpoint stays stubbornly the same—either as an unchanging Kindle edition or simple paperback—the universe that produces, breathes life into, and supports books is changing in positive, inclusive ways, year by year. The Future Book is here and continues to evolve. You’re holding it. It’s exciting. It’s boring. It’s more important than it has ever been.

But temper some of those flight-of-fancy expectations. In many ways, it’s still a potato."
craigmod  ebooks  reading  howweread  2018  kindle  eink  print  publishing  selfpublishing  blurb  lulu  amazon  ibooks  apple  digital  bookfuturism  hypertext  hypercard  history  vannevarbush  borges  twitter  animation  video  newsletters  email  pdf  mobi  epub  infrastructure  systems  economics  goldenrecord  voyager  audio  audiobooks  smarthphones  connectivity  ereaders  podcasts  socialmedia  kevinkelly  benthompson  robinsloan  mailchimp  timbuktulabs  elenafavilli  francescacavallo  jackcheng  funding  kickstarter  crowdfunding  blogs  blogging  wikipedia  internet  web  online  writing  howwewrite  self-publishing  youtube 
january 2019 by robertogreco
The Radical Tactics of the Offline Library on Vimeo
[parts of the video (from the introduction): "1. Libraries existed to copy data. Libraries as warehouses was a recent idea and not a very good one 2. The online world used to be considered rhizomatic but recent events have proven that it is actually quite arboretic and precarious. 3. A method of sharing files using hard drives is slow, but it is extremely resilient. This reversalism is a radical tactic agains draconian proprietarianism. 4. There are forces and trends that are working against portable libraries."]

[Book is here:
http://networkcultures.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/NN07_complete.pdf
http://networkcultures.org/blog/publication/no-07-radical-tactics-of-the-offline-library-henry-warwick/ ]

"The Radical Tactics of the Offline Library is based on the book "Radical Tactics: Reversalism and Personal Portable Libraries"
By Henry Warwick

The Personal Portable Library in its most simple form is a hard drive or USB stick containing a large collection of e-books, curated and archived by an individual user. The flourishing of the offline digital library is a response to the fact that truly private sharing of knowledge in the online realm is increasingly made impossible. While P2P sharing sites and online libraries with downloadable e-books are precarious, people are naturally led to an atavistic and reversalist workaround. The radical tactics of the offline: abandoning the online for more secure offline transfer. Taking inspiration from ancient libraries as copying centers and Sneakernet, Henry Warwick describes the future of the library as digital and offline. Radical Tactics: Reversalism and Personal Portable Libraries traces the history of the library and the importance of the Personal Portable Library in sharing knowledge and resisting proprietarian forces.

The library in Alexandria contained about 500,000 scrolls; the Library of Congress, the largest library in the history of civilization, contains about 35 million books. A digital version of it would fit on a 24 TB drive, which can be purchased for about $2000. Obviously, most people don’t need 35 million books. A small local library of 10,000 books could fit on a 64 GB thumb drive the size of a pack of chewing gum and costing perhaps $40. An astounding fact with immense implications. It is trivially simple to start collecting e-books, marshalling them into libraries on hard drives, and then to share the results. And it is much less trivially important. Sharing is caring. Societies where people share, especially ideas, are societies that will naturally flourish."
libraries  henrywarwick  archives  collection  digital  digitalmedia  ebooks  drm  documentary  librarians  alexandriaproject  copying  rhizomes  internet  online  sharing  files  p2p  proprietarianism  sneakernet  history  harddrives  learning  unschooling  property  deschooling  resistance  mesopotamia  egypt  alexandria  copies  decay  resilience  cv  projectideas  libraryofalexandria  books  scrolls  tablets  radicalism  literacy  printing  moveabletype  china  europe  publishing  2014  copyright  capitalism  canon  librarydevelopment  walterbenjamin  portability  andrewtanenbaum  portable  portablelibraries  félixguattari  cloudcomputing  politics  deleuze  deleuze&guattari  web  offline  riaa  greed  openstudioproject  lcproject 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Poética del lápiz, del papel y de las contradicciones | CCCB LAB
"Reflexiones de un escritor que transita entre el medio analógico y el digital, entre lo material y lo virtual."



"Aprendimos a leer en libros de papel y nuestros recuerdos yacen en fotos ampliadas a partir de un negativo. Actualmente vivimos en un entorno digital repleto de promesas y ventajas, y aun así parece que nuestro cerebro reclama dosis periódicas de tacto, artesanía y materia. El escritor Jorge Carrión reflexiona sobre este tránsito contradictorio entre un medio y otro: desde la firma de un libro garabateado o las lecturas repletas de anotaciones, hasta la necesidad de esbozar ideas con un bolígrafo o dibujar para observar y comprender, pasando por el móvil usado para tomar notas o fotografiar citas.

Hoy, en un avión que, a pesar de ser low cost, atraviesa el océano, leo estos versos en un librito extraordinario: «Escribo a mano con un lápiz Mongol Nº 2 mal afilado, / apoyando hojas de papel sobre mis rodillas. / Ésa es mi poética: escribir con lápiz es mi poética. / […] Lo del lápiz mal afilado es indispensable para mi poética. / Sólo así quedan marcas en las hojas de papel / una vez que las letras se borran y las palabras ya no / se entienden o han pasado de moda o cualquier otra cosa.»

Ayer, minutos antes de que empezara la conferencia que tenía que dar en Buenos Aires, una anciana se me acercó para que le dedicara su ejemplar de Librerías. Lo tenía lleno de párrafos subrayados y de esquinas de página dobladas («cada librería condensa el mundo», yo siempre pensé lo mismo, sí, señor), de tarjetas de visita y de fotografías de librerías («este folleto de Acqua Alta es de cuando estuve en Venecia, un viaje muy lindo»), de recortes de diario («mire, la nota de Clarín que habla del fallecimiento de Natu Poblet, qué tristeza») y hasta de cartas («ésta se la escribí a usted cuando terminé su libro y de pronto me quedé otra vez sola»). No es mi libro, le respondí, usted se lo ha apropiado: es totalmente suyo, le pertenece. De perfil el volumen parecía la maleta de cartón de un emigrante o los estratos geológicos de un acantilado. O un mapa impreso en 3D del rostro de la anciana.

La semana pasada, en mi casa, leí este pasaje luminoso de Una historia de las imágenes, un librazo extraordinario de David Hockney y Martin Gayford publicado por Siruela:

En una fotografía el tiempo es el mismo en cada porción de su superficie. No así en la pintura: ni siquiera es así en una pintura hecha a partir de una foto. Es una diferencia considerable. Por eso no podemos mirar una foto mucho tiempo. Al final no es más que una fracción de segundo, no vemos al sujeto en capas. El retrato que me hizo Lucian Freud requirió ciento veinte horas de posado, y todo ese tiempo lo veo en capas en el cuadro. Por eso tiene un interés infinitamente superior al de una foto.

Hace unos meses, en el AVE que une Barcelona con Madrid, leí un artículo sobre una tendencia incipiente: ya son varios los museos del mundo que prohíben hacer fotografías durante la visita; a cambio te regalan un lápiz y papel, para que dibujes las obras que más te interesen, para que en el proceso de la observación y de la reproducción, necesariamente lento, mires y pienses y digieras tanto con los ojos como con las manos.

Vivimos en entornos absolutamente digitales. Producimos, escribimos, creamos en teclados y pantallas. Pero al principio y al final del proceso creativo casi siempre hay un esquema, unas notas, un dibujo: un lápiz o un bolígrafo o un rotulador que se desliza sobre pósits o sobre hojas de papel. Como si en un extremo y en otro de lo digital siempre hubiera una fase predigital. Y como si nuestro cerebro, en un nuevo mundo que –como explica afiladamente Éric Sadin en La humanidad aumentada– ya se ha duplicado algorítmicamente, nos reclamara dosis periódicas de tacto y artesanía y materia (infusiones de coca para combatir el mal de altura).

Hace dos años y medio, tras mi última mudanza, pasé un rato hojeando el álbum de fotos de mi infancia. Aquellas imágenes envejecidas y palpables no sólo documentan mi vida o la moda o las costumbres de los años setenta y ochenta en España, también hablan de la evolución de la fotografía doméstica y de los procesos de revelado. Tal vez cada foto sea solamente un instante (un instante sin una segunda oportunidad, sin edición, sin filtros, sin anestesia), pero las páginas de cartulina, las anotaciones manuscritas en rotulador negro o en boli Bic azul, los cambios de cámara o las impresiones en brillo o en mate crean un conjunto (un libro) en el que la dimensión material del tiempo se puede reconstruir y tocar, elocuente o balbuciente, nítida o desdibujada, como en un yacimiento arqueológico. O como en un mapa impreso en 3D de mi futuro envejecimiento.

Hoy, ahora, acabo de leer este librito extraordinario, el poemario Apolo Cupisnique, de Mario Montalbetti, que han coeditado en Argentina Añosluz y Paracaídas. Y lo cierro, con versos subrayados, páginas con la esquina doblada, la entrada de un par de museos porteños y un lápiz de Ikea que probablemente también se quede ahí, para siempre secuestrado. Y en el avión low cost empiezo a escribir este texto gracias a mi teléfono móvil, porque no soy (no somos) más que un sinfín de contradicciones. La cita de Montalbetti la copio directamente del libro, pero para la de Hockney tengo que recurrir a la foto que hice de esa doble página la semana pasada. A la izquierda el texto, a la derecha el retrato que le hizo Freud. La foto del retrato. Se pueden ver, en efecto, las capas dinámicas que dejaron en la pintura las ciento veinte horas inmóviles. Con el dedo índice y el pulgar amplío sus ojos y durante un rato –en la noche que se disuelve en jet lag– nuestras miradas se encuentran en la pantalla sin estratos."
jorgecarrión  digital  writing  print  virtual  material  2018  art  poetry  apolocupisnique  mariomontalbetti  añosluz  paracaídas  paper  books  ebooks  éricsadin  algorithms  davidhockney  martingayford  natupoblet 
may 2018 by robertogreco
HemiPress –
"HemiPress is the Hemispheric Institute’s digital publications imprint, created to house and centralize our diverse publication initiatives. Using a variety of customized open-source digital humanities platforms, HemiPress includes the Gesture short works series, the Duke U.P./HemiPress digital books, stand-alone essays, and the Institute’s peer-reviewed journal emisférica, alongside interviews, Cuadernos, and other online teaching resources. It also provides state-of-the-art multilingual publication capacities and immersive formats for capturing the “live” of performance, as well as a digital “bookshelf”—the interface that houses all of the Institute’s publications and connects communities of readers across the Americas."

[Digital Books:
https://hemi.press/digital-books/

"The Hemispheric Institute's focus on embodied practice requires both methodological and technological innovation. Through our Digital Books initiative, which utilizes both the Scalar and Tome publication platforms, we seek to create media-rich scholarly publications in order to produce and disseminate knowledge across geographic, linguistic, disciplinary, and mediatic borders. Staging a unique intervention in the field of academic publishing, Digital Books allows authors to utilize not only images and video, but also multilingual subtitles, maps and geotags, audio recordings, slideshows, and photo-essays, alongside other interactive features. Whether solo-authored, collaboratively written, or compiled as an edited volume, this critical initiative invites scholars, artists, activists, and students to explore the expansive possibilities of digital publishing in a hemispheric context."



"Tome [http://tome.press/ ] is an online authoring tool that facilitates long-form publishing in an immersive, media-rich environment. Built on the WordPress framework and in collaboration with the Hemispheric Institute, Tome features a suite of custom plugins that empowers scholars, students, and artists to create innovative born-digital work. Recent Tome publications include El Ciervo Encantado: An Altar in the Mangroves (Lillian Manzor and Jaime Gómez Triana), Art, Migration, and Human Rights: A collaborative dossier by artists, scholars, and activists on the issue of migration in southern Mexico, Villa Grimaldi (Diana Taylor), and six gestures (peter kulchyski)."



"Scalar [https://scalar.me/anvc/ ] is a free, open source authoring and publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online. Scalar enables users to assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways, with minimal technical expertise required. Scalar also gives authors tools to structure essay- and book-length works in ways that take advantage of the unique capabilities of digital writing, including nested, recursive, and non-linear formats. The platform also supports collaborative authoring and reader commentary."]

[See also: emisférica
https://hemi.press/emisferica/

"emisférica is the Hemispheric Institute’s peer-reviewed, online, trilingual scholarly journal. Published biannually, journal issues focus on specific areas of inquiry in the study of performance and politics in the Americas. The journal publishes academic essays, multimedia artist presentations, activist interventions, and translations, as well as book, performance, and film reviews. Its languages are English, Spanish, and Portuguese."



"Dossier: Our dossiers are organized around a given theme and feature short texts, interviews, artworks, poetry, and video."



"Essays: We publish invited essays, essays submitted through our open calls, and translations of significant previously published works."



"Reviews: We review books, films, and performances from throughout the Americas"



"Multimedios: Multimedios are digital modules that feature the work of individual artists, artist collectives, curatorial projects, and activists movements. These video and photography, interviews, catalogue texts, essays, and critical reviews."]
publishing  americas  latinamerica  ebooks  epublishing  opensource  español  spanish  portugués  portuguese  digital  digitalpublishing  books  journals  multimedia  photography  poetry  video  art  wordpress  webdev  onlinetoolkit  scalar  hemipress 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Writing Nameless Things: An Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin - Los Angeles Review of Books
"How do you feel about ebooks these days?

When I started writing about ebooks and print books, a lot of people were shouting, “The book is dead, the book is dead, it’s all going to be electronic.” I got tired of it. What I was trying to say is that now we have two ways of publishing, and we’re going to use them both. We had one, now we have two. How can that be bad? Creatures live longer if they can do things in different ways. I think I’ve been fairly consistent on that. But the tone of my voice might have changed. I was going against a trendy notion. There’s this joke I heard. You know what Gutenberg’s second book was, after the Bible? It was a book about how the book was dead."



"You once clarified your political stance by saying, “I am not a progressive. I think the idea of progress an invidious and generally harmful mistake. I am interested in change, which is an entirely different matter.” Why is the idea of progress harmful? Surely in the great sweep of time, there has been progress on social issues because people have an idea or even an ideal of it.

I didn’t say progress was harmful, I said the idea of progress was generally harmful. I was thinking more as a Darwinist than in terms of social issues. I was thinking about the idea of evolution as an ascending staircase with amoebas at the bottom and Man at the top or near the top, maybe with some angels above him. And I was thinking of the idea of history as ascending infallibly to the better — which, it seems to me, is how the 19th and 20th centuries tended to use the word “progress.” We leave behind us the Dark Ages of ignorance, the primitive ages without steam engines, without airplanes/nuclear power/computers/whatever is next. Progress discards the old, leads ever to the new, the better, the faster, the bigger, et cetera. You see my problem with it? It just isn’t true.

How does evolution fit in?

Evolution is a wonderful process of change — of differentiation and diversification and complication, endless and splendid; but I can’t say that any one of its products is “better than” or “superior to” any other in general terms. Only in specific ways. Rats are more intelligent and more adaptable than koala bears, and those two superiorities will keep rats going while the koalas die out. On the other hand, if there were nothing around to eat but eucalyptus, the rats would be gone in no time and the koalas would thrive. Humans can do all kinds of stuff bacteria can’t do, but if I had to bet on really long-term global survival, my money would go to the bacteria."
usulaleguin  2017  evolution  progress  change  diversity  differentiation  diversification  complication  difference  ebooks  publishing  writing  sciencefiction  scifi 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Poetic Computation: Reader
"Greetings. Welcome to the first class of Poetics and Politics of Computation at the School for Poetic Computation(SFPC). I’d like to begin the class by asking “What is poetic computation?” First, there is the poetics of code, which refers to code as a form of poetry. There is something poetic about code itself, the way that syntax works, the way that repetitions work, and the way that instruction becomes execution through abstraction. There is also what I call the poetic effect of code, which is an aesthetic experience realized through code. In other words, when the mechanics of words are in the right place, the language transcends its constraints and rules, and in turn, creates this poetic effect whereby thought is transformed into experience.

Together, the poetics of code and the poetic effect of code form ‘poetic computation.’ The terms code and computation are often used interchangeably, but I should note that code is only one aspect of computation. Code is a series of instruction for computation that requires logical systems and hardware to make the instructions computable. In that sense, computation is a higher level concept than code. For our purposes, however, we can use poetics of code and poetics of computation interchangeably throughout these discussions.

To a non-coder, non-artist friend, or to those just beginning to learn to program, I often say code may look like poetry in an alien language. And to those more experienced with code, writing code sometimes feels like writing poetry because it doesn’t always ‘work.’ I mean two things by ‘work’: first, does it work as an art form? Is it good poetry? On the other hand, I mean ‘work’ in a more utilitarian sense. Does it have practical application?

At SFPC, we like to think that poetic computation is when language meets mathematics, and logic meets electricity. Sometimes, poetic computation is literally writing poems with code. Some of our teachers and students write poetry with algorithms to explore what the language can do. When we started the school, a lot of people asked if the school is for generative poetry or electronic literature. We clarified that while we are definitely interested in the intersection of language and computation, we want to explore a broader definition of the ‘poetic.’ We want to investigate the art of computation as well as the expressive qualities of code, including its aesthetic, visual, aural and material aspects.

While this artistic potential lies at the core of the school’s excitement about code and computation, I’m interested in how this turn towards art may help us explore political possibilities. In this class, I consider computation to be a lens for examining reality and thinking about emergent issues in the world. In other words, computation can be a vehicle for imagining new ways of being in the world. Let’s first step back to look at material precedents of modern computation and computers."
taeyoonchoi  coding  processing  sfpc  poetry  books  toread  ebooks  schoolforpoeticcomputation 
september 2017 by robertogreco
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Join the community of libraries and citizen coders seeking to improve eBooks from libraries. Built with maximum use of open source software, open specifications and standards based technologies. Lean more here

SCALABLE
Wether you are a single library system, a state library or a consortium of libraries, the platform can be configured and scaled to meet your needs. The multi-tenant architecture allows mulitple libraries to exist in a single instance.

PLUG IN
We, too, follow the principles of Readers First. Libraries need solutions built to work with numerous technology systems and service providers of eBooks. Our Open Architectures allow for easy integration into your library systems.

Integrations

Integrated Library System and Metadata Providers

The platform is integrated into multiple Integrated Library System (ILS) platforms through the use of APIs, SIP or SIP2 service interfaces. This provides ready integration into multiple ILS products such as Millennial, Sierra, Polaris, Virtua, Destiny, Symphony and open source systems such as Evergreen and Koha. To enhance metadata we can work with open interfaces into VIAF and Linked Data from OCLC as well as recommendations services such as Novelist Select from EBSCO.

Ebook Distributors

The platform supports a number of ebook distribution services such as Overdrive and Overdrive Advantage, Bibliotheca Cloud Library, Access 360, RBDigital, Biblioboard, Califa's Enki Library service, Unglue.it, Plympton books and Project Gutenberg."
ebooks  libraries  opensource  software  ereaders  drm 
september 2017 by robertogreco
Liberio | Simple eBook creation and publishing.
"Make eBooks.Really simple.Right fromGoogle Drive.Dropbox.OneDrive.GitHub.anywhere.

Easy as 1, 2, 3
Write, design, publish for free
No more complicated exports or data handling with ePub files. Create your own eBooks for free with only one click right from the cloud or your computer, and start publishing with Liberio.

1. Write your Text
Liberio integrates seamlessly with Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Github and more. Any text-based document can be converted into an eBook — including LaTex and Markdown! Write your book wherever you please and import directly into Liberio.

2. Import to Liberio
Liberio imports (nearly) all features of your eBook’s documents: Text formatting, fonts and images are available to style and create your eBook. Easily generate an imprint, upload your own cover image or choose from a variety of free cover templates.

3. Publish your eBook
Liberio produces ePubs compliant to the official standard. Your books will be ready for all major eBook stores like Amazon™, Google Play™ Books or the iBooks™ Store. Share your books on Facebook™, Twitter™ and Google+™ directly from Liberio.

Liberio is for everyone
Publish for education, design or just for fun
We want to make the publishing of eBooks easy for everyone. No matter if you are a teacher, student, designer, artist, engineer or tinkerer, creating and publishing your own books is now only a push of a button away."

Liberio for Teachers
Create course materials for your students, publish your own books about your field of expertise or use Liberio as a platform to publish student essays. There’s so much knowledge to share – Now you can, for free, with one click!

Liberio for Creatives
Write and publish your own essays, novels, poems or create a collection of your best artwork. Share your stories, knowledge and ideas with others around the world. Liberio makes it super easy to create beautifully unique books.

Liberio for Engineers
Create technical manuals, write scientific papers or publish transcripts of conference talks. Easy import and processing of Markdown and LaTex with Liberio’s one click publishing lets you share your work with everyone, for free.

From your thoughts to the world
Liberio’s one-click publishing is incredibly simple
Sharing your ebooks with the rest of the world should not be a difficult task. From writing, editing and design to publishing and sharing on social networks — publishing an eBook has never been simpler than with Liberio.

Send to Google Play
Send your latest publication to your Google Play Books account where both Android smartphones and tablets alike can download them, with a push of a button in Liberio.

Publish & share online
Share your latest eBook with your family, friends, others around the world on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks with one click right from Liberio.

Send to your Kindle
Send your books to your Kindle. Whether it be the Kindle Paperwhite, HD, Fire, or previous models, you always have your eBooks with you in just seconds, with Liberio."
ebooks  publishign  googledrive  googledocs  cloud  epub 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Indivisible Guide
"Former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen."



"NOTE FROM THE INDIVISIBLE TEAM

Since this guide went live as a Google Doc, we’ve received an overwhelming flood of messages from people all over the country working to resist the Trump agenda. We’re thrilled and humbled by the energy and passion of this growing movement. We’ll be updating the guide based on your feedback and making it interactive ASAP. You can sign up for updates at www.IndivisibleGuide.com.

Every single person who worked on this guide and website is a volunteer. We’re doing this in our free time without coordination or support from our employers. Our only goal is help the real leaders on the ground who are resisting Trump’s agenda on their home turf. We hope you will take this document and use it however you see fit.

We want to hear your stories, questions, comments, edits, etc., so please feel free to ping some of us on Twitter: @IndivisibleTeam, @ezralevin, @angelrafpadilla, @texpat, @Leahgreenb. Or email IndivisibleAgainstTrump@gmail.com.

And please please please spread the word! Only folks who know this
exists will use it.

Good luck — we will win."



"INTRODUCTION

Donald Trump is the biggest popular vote loser in history to ever call himself PresidentElect. In spite of the fact that he has no mandate, he will attempt to use his congressional majority to reshape America in his own racist, authoritarian, and corrupt image. If progressives are going to stop this, we must stand indivisibly opposed to Trump and the members of Congress (MoCs) who would do his bidding. Together, we have the power to resist — and we have the power to win.

We know this because we’ve seen it before. The authors of this guide are former congressional staffers who witnessed the rise of the Tea Party. We saw these activists take on a popular president with a mandate for change and a supermajority in Congress. We saw them organize locally and convince their own MoCs to reject President Obama’s agenda. Their ideas were wrong, cruel, and tinged with racism — and they won.

We believe that protecting our values, our neighbors, and ourselves will require mounting a similar resistance to the Trump agenda — but a resistance built on the values of inclusion, tolerance, and fairness. Trump is not popular. He does not have a mandate. He does not have large congressional majorities. If a small minority in the Tea Party can stop President Obama, then we the majority can stop a petty tyrant named Trump.

To this end, the following chapters offer a step-by-step guide for individuals, groups, and organizations looking to replicate the Tea Party’s success in getting Congress to listen to a small, vocal, dedicated group of constituents. The guide is intended to be equally useful for stiffening Democratic spines and weakening pro-Trump Republican resolve.

We believe that the next four years depend on citizens across the country standing indivisible against the Trump agenda. We believe that buying into false promises or accepting partial concessions will only further empower Trump to victimize our fellow citizens. We hope that this guide will provide those who share that belief useful tools to make Congress listen."
activism  ebooks  politics  donaldtrump  congress  government  2016  us  resistance 
december 2016 by robertogreco
Open eBooks
[via: https://tinyletter.com/jessamyn/letters/tilty-24-can-we-innovate-our-way-out-of-ignorance ]

"
Open eBooks is a partnership between the Digital Public Library of America, The New York Public Library, and First Book, with content support from digital books distributor Baker & Taylor and login support from Clever. This effort is made possible by generous commitments of publishers with funding support provided in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and is part of the White House ConnectED Initiative.

What is Open eBooks?

Open eBooks is an app containing thousands of popular and award-winning titles that are free for children from in-need households. These eBooks can be read without checkouts or holds. Children from in-need families can access these eBooks, which include some of the most popular works of the present and past, using the Open eBooks app and read as many as they like without incurring any costs. The goal of Open eBooks is to encourage a love of reading and serve as a gateway to children reading even more often, whether in school, at libraries, or through other eBook reading apps.

The New York Public Library created the app enabling children to read eBooks on a wide variety of devices, including tablets donated as part of the President’s ConnectED initiative and on smartphones increasingly used by Americans at all income levels.

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides access to millions of brand new, high quality print books and other educational resources to classrooms and programs serving children in need. First Book is providing full access to Open eBooks to every educator in its Network, and will distribute access codes for Open eBooks to educators serving children in need at fbmarketplace.org/openebooks.

DPLA is engaging its network of librarians and cultural heritage institutions to provide outreach about the program and helping to coordinate books for inclusion. The DPLA Curation Corps apply their knowledge and professional skills to shape a compelling collection that is diverse, exciting, and age-appropriate so that every child has a book to read and enjoy.

Thanks to the generous contributions of the eBook platform delivery service, AXIS 360 from Baker & Taylor, Open eBooks is able to provide access to titles from the following publishers:

• Bloomsbury: Providing unlimited access to over 1,000 of its most popular titles.
• Candlewick: Providing unlimited access to all relevant children’s and young-adult eBook titles in their catalog.
• Cricket Media: Offering full digital access to all of its market-leading magazines for children and young adults, including Ladybug and Cricket.
• Hachette: Offering access to a robust catalog of their popular and award-winning titles.
• HarperCollins: Providing a vast selection of their award-winning and popular titles.
• Lee & Low: Providing unlimited access to over 700 titles from this leading independent publisher of multicultural books.
• Macmillan: Providing unlimited access to all of the K-12 age-appropriate titles in their catalog of approximately 2,500 books.
• National Geographic: Providing unlimited access to all of their age-appropriate content.
• Penguin Random House: Committing to provide an extensive offering of their popular and award-winning books.
• Simon & Schuster: Providing access to their entire e-catalog of books for children ages 4-14, comprised of 3,000 titles.

Clever is a secure educational login platform currently used in almost half of all U.S. K-12 schools. Their support allows Title I schoolwide programs to access Open eBooks through the suite of Clever apps."
ebooks  open  free  libraries  digitlpubliclibrary  digital  books  dpla  firstbook 
december 2016 by robertogreco
Fantasies of the Library | The MIT Press
"Fantasies of the Library lets readers experience the library anew. The book imagines, and enacts, the library as both keeper of books and curator of ideas--as a platform of the future. One essay occupies the right-hand page of a two-page spread while interviews scrolls independently on the left. Bibliophilic artworks intersect both throughout the book-as-exhibition. A photo essay, “Reading Rooms Reading Machines” further interrupts the book in order to display images of libraries (old and new, real and imagined), and readers (human and machine) and features work by artists including Kader Atta, Wafaa Bilal, Mark Dion, Rodney Graham, Katie Paterson, Veronika Spierenburg, and others.

The book includes an essay on the institutional ordering principles of book collections; a conversation with the proprietors of the Prelinger Library in San Francisco; reflections on the role of cultural memory and the archive; and a dialogue with a new media theorist about experiments at the intersection of curatorial practice and open source ebooks. The reader emerges from this book-as-exhibition with the growing conviction that the library is not only a curatorial space but a bibliological imaginary, ripe for the exploration of consequential paginated affairs. The physicality of the book—and this book—“resists the digital,” argues coeditor Etienne Turpin, “but not in a nostalgic way.”

Contributors
Erin Kissane, Hammad Nasar, Megan Shaw Prelinger, Rick Prelinger, Anna-Sophie Springer, Charles Stankievech, Katharina Tauer, Etienne Turpin, Andrew Norman Wilson, Joanna Zylinska"
books  toread  libraries  future  bookfuturism  anna-sophiespringer  etienneturpin  erinkissane  hammadnasar  meganshawprelinger  rickprelinger  charlesstankievech  katharinatauer  andrewnormanwilson  joannazylinska  print  prelingerlibrary  curation  opensource  ebooks  kaderatta  wafaabilal  markdion  rodneygraham  katiepaterson  veronikaspierenburg  2016 
november 2016 by robertogreco
In Search of the Long Wow — Between Shelves — Medium
"What happened to the e-reading revolution that would shape the way we think about text?

If it’s possible to draw my life onto a timeline then every major event would be accompanied by a book. Although, despite what my shelves might tell you, I certainly don’t hoard them. It’s the books that are infatuated with me.

In hope of spending a weekend by my side, or even just a moment in my bag, books will call out from the shops in airport terminals and reveal themselves along riverbank market stalls. Likewise, I’ve found so many books waiting for me on the midnight trains that slowly criss-cross their way along the English towns near my home that I’ve begun to imagine a conspiracy of books at work; they’ve heard reports of my forbidden touch, or the color of my eyes, or my prolonged contact with the naked bodies of their friends. And so, hidden in jackets and sheathed in purses, the books plan their approach as they hope to try their luck with me instead.

I find them everywhere, at all times, and they respond to my body like a magnet; jumping into my bag, clinging onto me for dear life. What is it about these books, these inky sponges, I wonder, that make them act so desperately?

That’s not to say that the relationship is all one-way however; over the past year or so the buildings and faces around me have swirled into an incomprehensible blur and it’s only when I think about these books that the events lost in that swirl begin to make a little sense. I vividly remember the the final scenes as I turn these books over in my hands; they reveal a collage of where I was, and who I was, when I read them.

Yet in the foreseeable future my library can no longer be brought along for the ride, and I can no longer continue my affairs with the strange books that whisper my name in the dark. This year I’ll be attempting to avoid those flirting temptations by reading everything on the new Kindle Paperwhite.

I’ve always been fascinated by e-reading devices but I’ve been continuously frustrated by my expectations of them. Several years ago I owned a Kindle with physical buttons and a keyboard, and I remember how the experience was much like trying to read a novel from an Etch-a-Sketch.

During that time I tried to ignore how the designers appeared oblivious to centuries of typographic discipline, yet the hardware itself was unavoidably primitive and frustrating in every regard. No matter how many reviews I watched or how many friends recommended them I couldn’t understand where this wellspring of sentiment came from. Ultimately I felt that ebooks, and e-readers, showed so much promise but it was a promise that couldn’t be kept, which is why I was so very hesitant when I thought of returning to the Kindle again.

Yet I didn’t know anything about the latest models at all. I hadn’t picked apart the reviews or carefully watched an unboxing video, and my bookish friends appeared oblivious to the developments in the ebook world, too.

I believe this is for two reasons: one, no-one appears to believe anymore that ebooks will annihilate the print world any time soon, and two, the Kindle Paperwhite is remarkably boring.

And that’s the first thing you discover when you open the box and setup your account — it dawns on you just how truly boring the Kindle now is. So much so that whenever I’ve tried to bring up a conversation about my latest reading adventures I watch as faces droop and eyes roll, it’s impossible not to yawn in reply. Where are the Watch apps and the VR simulations that will let me read Moby Dick whilst sitting on the Moon or tumbling down a roller coaster, I hear you ask.

Back in 2007, when the Kindle debuted, there was so much hope for a literary and technological revolution of some kind. But eight years later, surely we ought to have replaced this antiquated ebook technology by now.

If this is the future that we’ve been promised from the very start, then where is the revolution? Where are the new forms of reading?

And where is the Kindle?

After opening the Kindle Paperwhite for the first time my impression was that I had somehow been tricked — I discovered that time had slipped forward by an hour in what felt like a second. Hmmm…, I thought. Shortly afterwards, I visited my Kindle library and found that it had automatically downloaded everything from my previous device. Hmm…, I thought again. Next, I tried to buy a book and found just how cheap the Kindle versions are, easily saving 50% of the cost of a physical book. This encouraged me to double the size of my library in a matter of minutes. Subsequently they appeared onto the device silently, without any procession, just like magic.

Hmmm… I continued to think.

It slowly dawned on me that the Kindle is such an interesting device today precisely because it is so very boring. It looks and feels like a machine that’s finally reached maturity; it’s part of a greater ecosystem that cannot sustain itself by flashy gimmicks or tropes. Instead, it just quietly, expertly, does a very simple job, and does it extraordinarily well.

A string of Hmmm’s and Oooh’s occur with each passing moment spent with the Kindle, and this reminded me of an old post about design by Craig Mod. Somewhere deep in his vast archive of book design is a note about two experiences: the Long Wow vs. the Small Wow. Yet I can’t seem to retrieve the quote from search terms or keyword strings, and this leads me to think that I am garbling the original idea in some horrible manner. Perhaps it wasn’t on Craig’s website that I first heard of this idea at all.

But here’s how I remember it.

The Long Wow vs. the Small Wow

The Long Wow is the sort of action that continues to impress, long after someone’s first experienced it. But the Long Wow is never really an individual sound, image, graphic element or feature of a product that we can point to. Instead, it’s a collection of features and experiences: it’s how they snap together, and how the seams between these features are then hidden away from view. It’s made up of lots of tiny moments, and identifiable features, but it’s difficult to point to a Long Wow with any certainty.

For instance, the first time we saw magazines on the iPad — all those animations and diagrams and Minority Report-like features! — these could each be described as a Small Wow. But the gimmicks fade quickly and then you’re left wondering how the blasted thing works. (Is this the app where I have to swipe right and then down into the article, or is the one where I have to pinch-zoom out to get to the contents page etc etc.)

However, both types of Wow are possible outside the realm of the e-reader, too. I remember a physical book that was surely capable of both. After years of looking at it, I still gawp at its shape and texture. I think about the custom typeface, about the quality of the paper, about the delicate woodcut illustrations, each a Small Wow in their own right, and each leading to a more satisfying reading experience overall.

In other words, there are Small Wows that contribute to better experiences, and then there are Small Wows that prevent them. This is why designing a reading device is so frustratingly difficult. But in order to understand the Long Wow of the Kindle, we have to break it up into each of its component parts, the tiny features that continue to impress and surprise:

• The prices of ebooks are astoundingly cheap.

• You can throw the Paperwhite into a bag and not worry for a second whether or not it could be damaged in the process; its plastic body feels durable rather than cheap.

• The screen has a coarseness to it that resembles another material entirely. On the iPad you swipe your finger along a slippery plane of ever-present, fragile glass but on the Paperwhite your finger tracks along a groove that resembles thick card.

• The network connection always feels predictable: you know when you’re offline and which features you can access. A notification doesn’t pop up when you walk away from your WiFi hotspot. Bonus points: you rarely need to be online anyway.

• The battery life appears to be nigh-on infinite.

• The screen/format/process is perfect for text-only works: novels, short stories, collections of talks, etc.

• The common design of most Kindle books has now overtaken their physical counterparts.

• Typographically speaking, the Kindle has reached an a-ok position for me. Every book I’ve read is still poorly justified but somehow I forgive them. Although, it should go without saying that the text of every ebook should be left aligned, ragged right.

• The custom-made Bookerly typeface, made by Dalton Maag, is a solid foundation for future typographic experiments on the Kindle platform.

• The refresh rate is very responsive: in the previous model that I owned whenever you turned a page or selected an option the screen would judder very slowly. But now, the way that the whole screen refreshes when you tap to reveal the menu or turn to swipe a page leaves a pleasant, old-school computer feeling in its wake, one that isn’t annoying in the slightest.

• The lack of physical buttons is a very good thing. I’d heard terrible moans about previous models having touch screens but this one seems to be immediately responsive and fast.

• Tiny gestures, like highlighting the text or calling the main menu by touching the top of the screen, are elegant, consistent and memorable. There are effectively three “buttons”: tap the top part of the screen for the menu or tap left/right to turn the pages.

These features aren’t thrilling, and they can’t easily be made into an advert that sparkles or grabs the reader’s attention; it’s difficult to imagine Zooey Deschanel or Samuel Jackson sitting in a brightly lit room and talking into a camera whilst they Oooh and Aaah about the highlighting gesture or the battery life of a Kindle.

Yet amidst that … [more]
robinrendle  kindle  longwow  technology  edtech  utility  ebooks  ereaders  paperwhite  2016  reading  howweread  smallwow  books 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Letters of Note: Some things should happen on soft pages, not cold metal
"May 7, 2006

Dear Oprah,

Do you remember when you learned to read, or like me, can you not even remember a time when you didn't know how? I must have learned from having been read to by my family. My sisters and brother, much older, read aloud to keep me from pestering them; my mother read me a story every day, usually a children's classic, and my father read from the four newspapers he got through every evening. Then, of course, it was Uncle Wiggily at bedtime.

So I arrived in the first grade, literate, with a curious cultural assimilation of American history, romance, the Rover Boys, Rapunzel, and The Mobile Press. Early signs of genius? Far from it. Reading was an accomplishment I shared with several local contemporaries. Why this endemic precocity? Because in my hometown, a remote village in the early 1930s, youngsters had little to do but read. A movie? Not often — movies weren't for small children. A park for games? Not a hope. We're talking unpaved streets here, and the Depression.

Books were scarce. There was nothing you could call a public library, we were a hundred miles away from a department store's books section, so we children began to circulate reading material among ourselves until each child had read another's entire stock. There were long dry spells broken by the new Christmas books, which started the rounds again.

As we grew older, we began to realize what our books were worth: Anne of Green Gables was worth two Bobbsey Twins; two Rover Boys were an even swap for two Tom Swifts. Aesthetic frissons ran a poor second to the thrills of acquisition. The goal, a full set of a series, was attained only once by an individual of exceptional greed — he swapped his sister's doll buggy.

We were privileged. There were children, mostly from rural areas, who had never looked into a book until they went to school. They had to be taught to read in the first grade, and we were impatient with them for having to catch up. We ignored them.

And it wasn't until we were grown, some of us, that we discovered what had befallen the children of our African-American servants. In some of their schools, pupils learned to read three-to-one — three children to one book, which was more than likely a cast-off primer from a white grammar school. We seldom saw them until, older, they came to work for us.

Now, 75 years later in an abundant society where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods, and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books. Instant information is not for me. I prefer to search library stacks because when I work to learn something, I remember it.

And, Oprah, can you imagine curling up in bed to read a computer? Weeping for Anna Karenina and being terrified by Hannibal Lecter, entering the heart of darkness with Mistah Kurtz, having Holden Caulfield ring you up — some things should happen on soft pages, not cold metal.

The village of my childhood is gone, with it most of the book collectors, including the dodgy one who swapped his complete set of Seckatary Hawkinses for a shotgun and kept it until it was retrieved by an irate parent.

Now we are three in number and live hundreds of miles away from each other. We still keep in touch by telephone conversations of recurrent theme: "What is your name again?" followed by "What are you reading?" We don't always remember.

Much love,

Harper"
harperlee  books  reading  howweread  children  2012  2006  ebooks  social  socialnetworks  rural  cilldhood  oprah  conversation  whyweread 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Rebus Open Web Textbooks
"What Are We Doing?
Rebus simplifies the creation, distribution, collection and deep reading of web-based Open Textbooks.

How Are We Doing That?
Rebus works with a global network of universities, professors and students to publish textbooks in an open and collaborative publishing model.

Rebus textbooks are Open Webbooks which embrace the structures and expectations we have of books, and add the power of the Open Web.

Why Are We Doing It?
Books and textbooks are central tools in our intellectual lives. They are, literally, the documentation of human knowledge and experience. Rebus is building an open, web-based platform to encourage deeper engagement, and to enable people (and machines), to use and build on books and reading in new and meaningful ways.

Where Are We At?
We're at the very start of this. Over the last year, we've figured out a whole bunch of solid hunches, gotten great feedback and we've even built some parts of what we think we'll need.

We'll shortly need help with engineering, development, community, and advice of all kinds.

If you're interested or curious, please don't hesitate to get in touch below!"
publishing  openaccess  books  borisanthony  textbooks  open  ebooks 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Portable Web Publications for the Open Web Platform
"This document introduces Portable Web Publications, a vision for the future of digital publishing that is based on a fully native representation of documents within the Open Web Platform. Portable Web Publications achieve full convergence between online and offline/portable document publishing: publishers and users won't need to choose one or the other, but can switch between them dynamically, at will."
w3c  webdev  portablewebpublications  publishing  digital  openwebplatform  open  ebooks  openweb  web  online  internet  via:bopuc  webdesign 
february 2016 by robertogreco
'Mobile reading revolution' takes off in developing world | Books | The Guardian
"Unesco study reports huge growth in adults and children reading books on phones in Africa and the Indian subcontinent"



"Unesco is pointing to a "mobile reading revolution" in developing countries after a year-long study found that adults and children are increasingly reading multiple books and stories on their phones.

Nearly 5,000 people in seven countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Zimbabwe – took part in the research, the largest study of its kind to date, which found that 62% of respondents are reading more, now they can read on their mobile phones. One in three said they read to children from their mobile phones, and 90% of respondents said they would be spending more time reading on their mobile phones in the next year.

The study, says Unesco in its report, found that "people read more when they read on mobile devices, that they enjoy reading more, and that people commonly read books and stories to children from mobile devices".

"The study shows that mobile reading represents a promising, if still underutilised, pathway to text," says the report, for which Unesco partnered with Worldreader – a global not-for-profit organisation that works to bring digital books to readers around the world – and Nokia. "It is not hyperbole to suggest that if every person on the planet understood that his or her mobile phone could be transformed – easily and cheaply – into a library brimming with books, access to text would cease to be such a daunting hurdle to literacy."

The report's author Mark West said that the key conclusion from the study was that "mobile devices can help people develop, sustain and enhance their literacy skills".

"This is important because literacy opens the door to life-changing opportunities and benefits," said West.

Reasons given by respondents for reading on mobiles were convenience, affordability and lack of access to books. In Zimbabwe, for example, Unesco said the cost of reading a book on a mobile was between 5 and 6 cents, while a paperback bestseller would cost around $12 (£7); in Nigeria, a mobile book would cost around 1 or 2 cents, based on a mobile broadband rate of $13 per 500 MB of data, while a child's book would cost between $1 and $5.

Unesco pointed to data from the UN, which shows that of the seven billion people on earth, more than six billion now have access to a working mobile phone. "Collectively, mobile devices are the most ubiquitous information and communication technology in history," says Unesco. "More to the point, they are plentiful in places where books are scarce."

The most popular genre for readers was romance, the survey found, with the "romance" icon on Worldreader Mobile receiving 17% of all 730,787 clicks during the research period. Nineteen of the top 40 books read during the study period were romance novels, with Ravinder Singh's Can Love Happen Twice? the most popular book, followed by the Mills & Boon title The Price of Royal Duty in second, and the Bible in third.

Kwame Nkrumah's The Great African and Nnedi Okorafor's The Girl with the Magic Hands were also among the most read books between April and June 2013, with the most popular search terms over the period "sex", "Bible" and "biology". Chinua Achebe came in fourth, with "Things fall apart", ahead of "love" in fifth. Religion was the second most popular genre, said Unesco.

The survey also found that mobile reading is a "huge tool of empowerment for women", said Worldreader's Nadja Borovac. While 77% of mobile readers in developing countries are male, women spend an average of 207 minutes per month reading on their mobile phones, compared to men's 33 minutes. Unesco's report points out that in sub-Saharan Africa, a woman is 23% less likely to own a mobile phone than a man, with the gap widening in the case of data-enabled phones. "Men use mobiles for reading most, but the most active readers are women," said Borovac.

Almost two-thirds (60%) of respondents cited lack of content as the primary barrier to mobile reading, and a third said they were keen to read to their children from their mobiles if there were more child-friendly material available.

One respondent, Charles, a teacher in Zimbabwe, said he reads to his class from his mobile, and cited lack of printed content as his main reason for turning to his phone. "We live in a remote area where there are no libraries, and the books I have in my own small library are the ones which I have already read. So this is now giving me a chance to choose from a variety of fiction titles," he said.

Borovac said that mobile reading was "not a future phenomenon, but something which is happening today".

"It can really change people's lives," she said. "We work in countries where there is a serious shortage of books but where cell phones are plentiful ... We are hoping people will realise the potential of mobile reading [as a result of the report], and that governments and partners will get behind not only us but other organisations using mobile technology to help provide learning and books, and help improve literacy skills.""
mobile  reading  2014  africa  asia  india  ehtiopia  ghana  kenya  nigeria  pakistan  zimbabwe  unesco  ebooks  publishing 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Kindle-style Braille tablet for the blind will allow people to feel images and text | Daily Mail Online
"• Researchers are developing a refreshable device like an Kindle e-reader
• It will display pages of raised bumps, which can be read by touch
• Current devices are expensive, running into thousands of pounds
• Pneumatic system creates bubbled surface to produce braille and graphics"
reading  howweread  blind  braille  ereaders  ebooks  technology  2016 
january 2016 by robertogreco
NewHive
[See also: “Beautiful disasters: NewHive is making the web weird again”
http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/18/5420246/can-newhive-make-the-web-weird-again-zach-verdin ]

"NewHive is a multimedia publishing platform. We provide a blank space and custom tools to simplify the process of creating rich multimedia experiences on the web.

Get started with our User Guide [http://newhive.com/newhive/user-guide ] and Frequently Asked Questions [http://newhive.com/newhive/faq ].

Say hello. Ask about job opportunities. Get in touch with our press and media team. Inquire about partnership and business development opportunities.

We are committed to supporting creators on the NewHive platform.
We do this in a variety of ways, including:

Commissioned Projects

NewHive regularly commissions multimedia mixtapes, singles, zines, ebooks, curated exhibitions, and solo projects by emerging and established artists engaged with the Internet. Creators receive a stipend and technical support. Proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis. Get in touch: m@newhive.com.

Interview Series

NewHive publishes interviews on a weekly basis. These conversations focus on the creative process, and aim to promote a better understanding and appreciation of the arts. Search #interviews to read about the community on NewHive.

Events / Exhibitions

NewHive partners with institutions to increase the profile of our creators. Most recently we collaborated with the Goethe-Institut San Francisco on Image as Location, an exhibition that showcased artists who are remixing their favorite works of art. Previously we teamed up with Gray Area to co-organize UPLOAD.gif, a weekend-long festival celebrating the animated GIF file format.

ZACH VERDIN
Cofounder / CEO

CARA BUCCIFERRO
Cofounder / Designer

ABRAM CLARK
Cofounder / Engineer

MELISSA BRODER
Director of Media

info@newhive.com "

["What is NewHive?

NewHive is a multimedia publishing platform for the easy creation of webpages called newhives. These pages are artist-controlled, embeddable, and may be simply compiled into collections. We provide an intuitive and easy-to-use, graphical user interface. To put it simply, NewHive allows users to create webpages without having to write code or use a rigid interface.

Do I have to pay to use NewHive?

NewHive is totally and completely free!
How do I create a newhive?

To create a newhive page, click on the create icon in the bottom right-hand corner. For help creating a newhive click on the ? while in the editor."]
newhive  multimedia  webrococo  remixing  web  webpublishing  online  internet  remixculture  gifs  gif  animatedgifs  zachverdin  abramclark  carabucciferro  melissabroder  upload.gif  webdev  ebooks  zines  mixtapes  art  community  onlinetoolkit  classideas  multiliteracies  webdesign 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Eli Horowitz Wants To Teach You How To Read - BuzzFeed News
"This might all sound very precious, or very insufferable. But Horowitz is used to people feeling that way: It’s the same sort of criticism that’s long been levied at McSweeney’s, the indie publishing organization that Horowitz ran for the better part of a decade. The cabins expand upon the aggressively twee style that made McSweeney’s publications into bookshelf fixtures in Brooklyn studios and dorm rooms across the land, but the work Horowitz does in those cabins is anything but stale. It sounds hyperbolic, but it’s true: He’s radically rethinking the boundaries of narrative and our expectations for the technology that surrounds us.

At the moment, Horowitz is commissioned to figure out a new form of audio tour for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and putting together the narrative puzzle pieces as a contributing editor of Starlee Kine’s Mystery Show podcast. He’s editing a narrative project called bcc that plays out in the form of a series of back-and-forth emails between two characters — on which the reader is bcc’ed. But most urgently, there’s The Pickle Index, his collaboration with developer Russell Quinn, which aims to effectively reconceptualize the book — in its digital and printed forms alike.

Horowitz helped change the book world once. Can he do it again?

Horowitz’s name is on five books; as an editor, he’s worked closely with dozens of authors, including those of Dave Eggers, indie filmmaker and artist Miranda July, essayist Wells Tower, Michael Chabon, Joyce Carol Oates, and Denis Johnson. Every book he’s written has been optioned for film or television: The New World, published in May, was optioned by Olivia Wilde; The Silent History, a digital app turned paperback from 2012, is slated to become AMC’s new prestige drama. “Everyone who knows him thinks of him as their secret weapon,” July told me.

But to understand how Horowitz arrived at this position of would-be digital visionary, you need to understand a few things about McSweeney’s, and the attitudes at its core. Much of it can be traced, at least originally, to the ethos of Dave Eggers — who, in the early ‘90s, moved to San Francisco and launched satirical magazine Might and slightly less satirical lit magazine Timothy McSweeney’s Literary Tendency. In 2000, Eggers, then 30, published his unconventional memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which became a best-seller and a nominee for the Pulitzer Prize.
With Heartbreaking Work, what had been a largely San Francisco-based literary phenomenon went national, and the Eggers name — and McSweeney’s along with it — came to stand in for a particular mix of playfulness and sincerity, doubling down on the intrinsic value of the printed object as the specter of a digital, bookless future started to haunt publishing. McSweeney’s can thus be understood as an attitude (optimism), a tone (oscillating, dynamically, between sincerity and satire, but never irony), and a posture (open).

Enter Horowitz. “The mythic version of how I came to McSweeney’s is pretty much true,” he told me, settling into a couch at the cabin. “826 Valencia (a writing tutoring program launched by Eggers) was getting ready to start. They needed help building the place, and I had this mild carpentry background — I’d taught myself from a book — so I helped build the Pirate Supply Store,” the storefront attached to the tutoring center that sells McSweeney’s publications and, uh, pirating supplies.

“They needed someone to sit at the register,” Horowitz tells me. “So I did that, and I would read books, and Dave saw that. He was busy trying to finish his first novel, You Shall Know Our Velocity, and he was like, ‘Wanna read this and tell me what you think?’”
Three months later, Horowitz found himself the managing editor of McSweeney’s. “There wasn’t anyone else around to manage,” he admits. “Which was good, because I didn’t know anything. None of us had ever worked in publishing before.”

Horowitz says this, like he says everything, with a tone of slight bemusement. His work has a sense of humor that oscillates between wry and farcical. He loves digressions and declaring new sections of conversation: “Now that’s a topic.” He’s around 5’10”, and feels coiled, like you might get an electric shock when you shake his hand. Chris Ying, editor-in-chief of the food magazine Lucky Peach, which launched under McSweeney’s, describes his mind as “endlessly churning.” In his demeanor, like his cabins and his projects, there’s a sense of “the new sincerity” — a term from music and film criticism often affixed to McSweeney’s. He might joke about the shitty construction of the dumbwaiter he made to bring up his book to one of his sleeping lofts. But he deeply, unmistakably loves it.

Horowitz winds through the story of how McSweeney’s gradually became more and more of a thing. In 2003, there was the launch of The Believer, a sister publication for interviews and nonfiction, the second 826 outpost in Park Slope, Brooklyn; then, a slew of books with the McSweeney’s imprint, all solicited and edited by Horowitz. And the predictable backlash: In its inaugural issue, the literary journal n+1, largely composed of East Coast intelligentsia, railed against it, calling Eggers and his followers “a regressive avant garde.”

Through all of this, Horowitz was holding the place together. He didn’t have Eggers’ visibility or celebrity, but behind the scenes, he was refining the voice and sensibility of the organization. He was editing and fixing the printer and figuring out how to make the postage work when the new issue took the form of a mass of old-timey letters and pamphlets in a box. “He came up with some of the best and strangest concepts for the journal and for our books,” Eggers told me. “He embodies a rare dichotomy of being very organized and very calm, but also has the soul of an artist.”

McSweeney’s, I’m told by others who’ve lived through it, was like any other close-knit organization, literature-based or otherwise, in that it functioned somewhat like a cult. And when you were in, you were in deep: Everyone was breaking laws and cutting corners and fucking around and each other.

So when I ask Horowitz, who left in 2012, if he’s nostalgic for those years, he looks at his lap and makes a laugh that sounds like a sigh. He pauses, gathers himself, half-smiles.

“No. That’s not what I feel.”"



"Horowitz applied the same philosophy to his newest work, The Pickle Index, which tells the story of a delightfully unskilled circus troupe against the backdrop of a fascist dystopia, united by a forced devotion to fermented items. “There are all these different ways that you can read that are valid, so I wanted to fully imagine all of those formats. So: the book-iest book I could do, and the app-iest app. Even the paperback, and the Kindle version. They’ll have their own sort of thing, with different reaches and different audiences.” For the hardback version of The Pickle Index, you go back and forth, chapter to chapter, between two beautifully illustrated volumes, each around 100 pages. For the paperback, those chapters are integrated, this time with accompanying woodcut illustrations. And then there’s the app, which releases sections of the narrative over the course of 10 days.

Horowitz paid for the 5000-copy hardcover run himself; whatever profits it and the app makes will be his and Quinn’s. When I ask how he’ll know if the project is a failure, he pauses. “I don’t see how this project could fail,” he says. “It just is! It might turn out well, people might like it, I might think back on it more fondly or less fondly. But it can’t be a failure. Failure is when you’re trying to be the No. 1 photo sharing platform, and then you either are or you aren’t.

Which is something Horowitz is uniquely capable of saying, of course, from the cushion of one of the Airbnbs that effectively bankroll his experimentation.

It’s pitch-black along the River Road back to Eli’s other cabin. He points out a roadside establishment, TJ’s Grill at Angie’s George’s Hideaway, whose name pleases him greatly. He’s pleased so easily, really: by a good garage sale, or teaching himself how to fix something, however poorly, so long as he learns something in the process, or by the artist who creates simply for the process, the doing, of it. “I really believe in people who make things just because they want to make things. Like a guy who dies, and you look in his backyard and find 700 little sculptures of little dudes. Like that.”

That ethos, however, is alien to the structures of the mainstream publishing industry, which ask for pitches with concrete promises of a final product, a certain audience: concrete markers of success. The sort of things that are hard to think about when you really just want to fiddle your way through a process, living the platonic ideal of the artistic experience, unencumbered by monetary concerns. Which is why Russell Quinn described the unifying quality of Horowitz’s projects as “low risk.”

“A lot of Eli’s projects appear to be big and monumental,” says Quinn, who lives in a geodesic dome, a five minute drive from Horowitz. “But even his cabins come from a place where he would rather buy a cheap thing and do it his way than buy a suburban house and do it up. Same for projects: We like thinking about how we can do them just the two of us. Because Eli has to get past the point where he doesn’t hate what he’s working on, and he doesn’t want to do that publicly, or with backers, or selling the concept of a book before it’s written. It’s a low-key humbleness: not figuring things out until the end.”

That night, I sleep the sleep of the well-cabined, and the sunrise wakes me instead of an alarm. We have plans to explore the app for The Pickle Index, but once we open it, I’m … [more]
elihorowitz  suddenoak  thepickleindex  annehelenpetersen  2015  books  publishing  mcsweeneys  apps  applications  ebooks  epublishing  srg  826valencia  daveeggers  bookfuturism  russianriver  tumblr  twitter  digital 
december 2015 by robertogreco
The Pickle: A Conversation About Making Digital Books — The Message — Medium
"1: Opening Salvo

Okay, Craig, I know you’re critical of the arrested state of ebooks today. For my part, I’m more… curious. It’s clear to me that, for all their commercial success, we don’t know what books on screens are supposed to look like; not yet. But that shouldn’t be surprising; the first Kindle came out a mere eight years ago, and most people have been reading books on screens for a few years at most.

It’s only now that we’re starting to see the really interesting work emerge.

I believe you’ve read The Pickle Index, and I think we can agree that it represents something interesting and new. The novel’s digital edition is much more than words on a screen; instead, it masquerades as a recipe app, complete with menus and lists and a wonderful little map. It’s quite slick; if it was a real recipe app, it would be a pretty solid one! Its creators, Eli Horowitz and Russell Quinn, use the idiom of the app to pull you more deeply into the story, to make you, as a reader, feel somehow like an accomplice.

It’s fabulous.

But the Pickle Index app (for reasons I don’t want to give away to people who haven’t read it yet) can only tell the Pickle Index story; the way it works is bound up with the tale it tells. Eli and Russell can’t reuse this machine for, say, The Istanbul Protocol or The Dragon Wizard. Those stories wouldn’t fit.

So, with your earlier criticism in mind: What do you think? Is this matching of content to container the road forward, or is it a lovely cul-de-sac? Is the non-naive, non-repackaged future of ebooks more of these unique apps, or is it some new, reusable “master format” that we have yet to invent?

Note to readers: This is (going to be) a long, loopy conversation. The Pickle Index is crisp and compact. Consider sampling its tangy delights."

[Craig's first response: https://medium.com/message/the-pickle-a-conversation-about-making-digital-books-1e8464b469e4#.xjy0jenpm

Collection here: https://medium.com/tag/the-pickle-index/latest ]
2015  robinsloan  ebooks  books  publishing  elihorowitz  russellquinn  thepickleindex  bookfuturism  craigmod  epublishing  applications  suddenoak 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Our (Bare) Shelves, Our Selves - The New York Times
"When I was 13, in the early 1990s, I dug through my parents’ cache of vinyl records from the ’60s and ’70s. We still had a phonograph, so I played some of them, concentrating on the Beatles. Their bigger hits were inescapably familiar, but a number of their songs were new to me.

Were I a teenager in 2015, I may not have found “Lovely Rita” or acquired an early taste at all for the Liverpudlian lads. The albums stacked up next to the record player, in plain sight for years, would be invisible MP3s on a computer or phone that I didn’t own. Their proximal existence could have been altogether unknown to me"



"There are several big upsides to growing up with streaming audio, one of which is accessibility: assuming I was interested enough, I could have explored, for free, the Beatles’ catalog on the Internet far beyond the scope of my parents’ collection.

But in our digital conversion of media (perhaps buttressed by application of the popular KonMari method of decluttering), physical objects have been expunged at a cost. Aside from the disappearance of record crates and CD towers, the loss of print books and periodicals can have significant repercussions on children’s intellectual development.

Perhaps the strongest case for a household full of print books came from a 2014 study published in the sociology journal Social Forces. Researchers measured the impact of the size of home libraries on the reading level of 15-year-old students across 42 nations, controlling for wealth, parents’ education and occupations, gender and the country’s gross national product.

After G.N.P., the quantity of books in one’s home was the most important predictor of reading performance. The greatest effect was seen in libraries of about 100 books, which resulted in approximately 1.5 extra years of grade-level reading performance. (Diminishing returns kick in at about 500 books, which is the equivalent of about 2.2 extra years of education.)

Libraries matter even more than money; in the United States, with the size of libraries being equal, students coming from the top 10 percent of wealthiest families performed at just one extra grade level over students from the poorest 10 percent.

The implications are clear: Owning books in the home is one of the best things you can do for your children academically. It helps, of course, if parents are reading to their children and reading themselves, not simply buying books by the yard as décor.

“It is a big question of whether it’s the books themselves or the parental scholarly culture that matters — we’re guessing it’s somewhere in between,” said Mariah Evans, one of the study’s authors and an associate professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Reno. “The books partly reflect intelligence.”

Although the study did not account for e-books, as they’re not yet available in enough countries, Dr. Evans said in theory they could be just as effective as print books in encouraging literacy.

“But what about the casual atmosphere of living in a bookish world, and being intrigued to pull something off the shelf to see what it’s like?” she asked. “I think that will depend partly on the seamless integration of our electronic devices in the future.”"



"Digital media trains us to be high-bandwidth consumers rather than meditative thinkers. We download or stream a song, article, book or movie instantly, get through it (if we’re not waylaid by the infinite inventory also offered) and advance to the next immaterial thing.

Poking through physical artifacts, as I did with those Beatles records, is archival and curatorial; it forces you to examine each object slowly, perhaps sample it and come across a serendipitous discovery.

Scrolling through file names on a device, on the other hand, is what we do all day long, often mindlessly, in our quest to find whatever it is we’re already looking for as rapidly as possible. To see “The Beatles” in a list of hundreds of artists in an iTunes database is not nearly as arresting as holding the album cover for “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Consider the difference between listening to music digitally versus on a record player or CD. On the former, you’re more likely to download or stream only the singles you want to hear from an album. The latter requires enough of an investment — of acquiring it, but also of energy in playing it — that you stand a better chance of committing and listening to the entire album.

If I’d merely clicked on the first MP3 track of “Sgt. Pepper’s” rather than removed the record from its sleeve, placed it in the phonograph and carefully set the needle over it, I may have become distracted and clicked elsewhere long before the B-side “Lovely Rita” played.

And what of sentiment? Jeff Bezos himself would have a hard time defending the nostalgic capacity of a Kindle. azw file over that of a tattered paperback. Data files can’t replicate the lived-in feel of a piece of beloved art. To a child, a parent’s dog-eared book is a sign of a mind at work and of the personal significance of that volume.

A crisp JPEG of the cover design on a virtual shelf, however, looks the same whether it’s been reread 10 times or not at all. If, that is, it’s ever even seen."
books  digital  analog  music  browsing  2015  streaming  collections  visibility  sharing  children  learning  reading  literacy  cds  audio  patina  beausage  ebooks  data  teddywayne 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Will digital books ever replace print? – Craig Mod – Aeon
[See also: http://kottke.org/15/10/on-the-declining-ebook-reading-experience

"The Kindle is a book reading machine, but it's also a portable book store. 1 Which is of great benefit to Amazon but also of some small benefit to readers...if I want to read, say, To Kill A Mockingbird right now, the Kindle would have it to me in less than a minute. But what if, instead, the Kindle was more of a book club than a store? Or a reading buddy? I bet something like that done well would encourage reading even more than instantaneous book delivery.

To me, Amazon seems exactly the wrong sort of company to make an ebook reader 2 with a really great reading experience. They don't have the right culture and they don't have the design-oriented mindset. They're a low-margin business focused on products and customers, not books and readers. There's no one with any real influence at Amazon who is passionately advocating for the reader. Amazon is leaving an incredible opportunity on the table here, which is a real bummer for the millions of people who don't think of themselves as customers and turn to books for delight, escape, enrichment, transformation, and many other things. No wonder they're turning back to paper books, which have a 500-year track record for providing such experiences."]
amazon  kindle  ebooks  books  publishing  bookfuturism  craigmod  2015  print  paper  bretvictor  alankay  dynabook  materiality  marshallmcluhan  vannevarbush  borges 
october 2015 by robertogreco
a book in 2015 //5880.me (–⅃-)
"¯\_(

I read an ebook1, highlighted it2, decided that reading app is ephemeral, ordered a "like new" paperback3, and copied over my highlights4.

Maybe even more strange: the last page of the paperback had a URL to "register my book" – which I did, thus qualifying for a $4.99 ebook.

ツ)_/¯


1. on a phone, tablet, and computer
2. skeuomorphically
3. from a third-party vendor through an online marketplace
4. with a yellow ink pen"
books  ebooks  publishing  digital  maxfenton  2015  reading  howweread  annotation 
july 2015 by robertogreco
PDF Scissors
"In short, It's a tool to crop pdfs.
Objective to create this, was to read pdf files (specially the scanned ones) easily in ebook readers, like kindle. 
And by the way, it's a free tool!"
pdfs  onlinetoolkit  ebooks  pdf 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Book to the Future - a book liberation manifesto
"The Book Liberation Manifesto is an exploration of publishing outside of current corporate constraints and beyond the confines of book piracy. We believe that knowledge should be in free circulation to benefit humankind, which means an equitable and vibrant economy to support publishing, instead of the prevailing capitalist hand-me-down system of Sisyphean economic sustainability. Readers and books have been forced into pirate libraries, while sales channels have been monopolised by the big Internet giants which exact extortionate fees from publishers. We have three proposals. First, publications should be free-at-the-point-of-reading under a variety of open intellectual property regimes. Second, they should become fully digital — in order to facilitate ready reuse, distribution, algorithmic and computational use. Finally, Open Source software for publishing should be treated as public infrastructure, with sustained research and investment. The result of such robust infrastructures will mean lower costs for manufacturing and faster publishing lifecycles, so that publishers and publics will be more readily able to afford to invent new futures.

For more information on the Hybrid Publishing Consortium see http://consortium.io "



"1. Introduction ᙠooʞ ƚo ƚʜɘ ᖷuƚuɿɘ – ɒ mɒnifɘƨƚo for book libɘɿɒƚio∩ Book to the Future front cover

The Hybrid Publishing Consortium (HPC) is a research network which is part of the Hybrid Publishing Lab and works to support Open Source software infrastructures. The HPC wishes to present practical solutions to the problems with the current stage of the evolution of the book. The HPC sees a glaring necessity for new types of publications, books which are enhanced with interfaces in order to take advantage of computation and digital networks. The initial sections of this manifesto will outline the current problems with the digital development of the book, with reference to stages in its historical evolution. We will then go on to present a framework for dealing with the problems in the later sections.

Now that there are floods of Open Access content for users to sort through, the book must develop to take on fresh interface design challenges – for improving reading, but also to support a wide range of communities. The latter include art, design, museums and the Digital Humanities groups, for all of whom video, audio, hyper-images, code, text, simulations and game sequences are needed.

HPC’s view is that current technology provisions in publishing are costly, inefficient and need a step-up in R&D. To support technical, open source infrastructures for publishing we have identified the ‘Platform Independent Document Type’ as key. Our objective is to contribute to the working implementation of an open standards based and transmedia structured document for multi-format publishing. With structured documents and accompanying systems publishers can lower costs, increase revenues and support innovation.

HPC is about building public open source software infrastructures for publishing to support the free-flow of knowledge – aka book liberation. Our mission statement is:
‘Every publication, in a universal format, available for free in real-time.’

This is our reworking of Amazon’s mission statement for its Kindle product:
‘Every book ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds.’

Currently digital publishing is dead in the water because for digital multi-format publications prohibitive amounts of time and costs are needed for rights clearance: the permissions required for each new format, the necessary signed contracts etc. So something has to give. For the scholarly community, Open Access academic publishing has fixed these problems with open licences, but other publishing sectors outside of academia remain frozen by restrictive licensing designed for print media.

Our efforts in building technical infrastructures will be wasted if content continues to be locked in, and this is where HPC's issue becomes as much a political as a technical problem. Open intellectual property licences, such as Creative Commons, are not enough on their own. Something else is needed if we want to support the free flow of knowledge: a way to financially support the publishers and the chain of skilled workers who are involved in publication productions. This can be either by a form of market metrics or by fair collections and redistribution methods, with the latter involving a little less fussing around than some market measurement. Open Access has meant publishers are still paid; it is simply that the point of payment has moved away from the reader to another point in the publishing process, where the free flow of knowledge is not hampered."
books  bookfuturism  2015  publishing  archives  bookliberation  copyright  copyleft  manifestoes  oer  libraries  technology  digital  ebooks  openlearning  repositories  creativecommons  print  amazon  kindle  universality  transmedia  hpc 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Bat, Bean, Beam: The broken book
"The book weighs only 170 grams but has a potentially very large – although not infinite – number of pages. It is made of plastic and rubber, and a translucent sheet at the front that acts like a window for reading its contents.

The book is portable, durable and robust, but not robust enough that you should sit on it. Which unfortunately is what I did with mine. It bent under my weight and something inside made a crunching sound. When I looked again, the black case of plastic and rubber looked intact but I could tell that the book had been damaged. The bottom half of the page I was reading when I put the book down was badly smudged, as if the text had been drawn it pencil and someone had hastily rubbed it with an eraser. Otherwise, the book was fine. I could still turn the pages and view the top half of each one.

Given the very low energy consumption and lack of significant moving parts, I could preserve the book in this state for quite a long time, there to uselessly collect the top half of a few dozen books and many more articles and essays.

What I chose to do instead was open the book and look inside. This proved a surprisingly difficult task, as the back rubber panel of my damaged Amazon Kindle was held in place by eight very tight clips and took a lot of prying. I wasn’t just driven by curiosity: seeing as I possess an older keyboard model with the screen still intact, I thought I could carry out a little transplant, in the off chance that parts were compatible. I found websites dedicated to replacing a screen on those older models, but nothing for my relatively more recent Kindle 5.

Once I finally removed the back cover, the book looked like this.

[…]

Those marks are a concrete reminder that there is something very particular about these book machines.

Words can be rearranged on a computer screen at will, but they remain virtual, and when I turn the screen off they vanish as if they had never existed. To bring them into the analogue world of inert objects, I need to print them on paper, and then they behave in every way like the old technology. Electronic books straddle those two worlds, typesetting at each turn the ordinary page of a book, only on a special plastic instead of paper. And if the book machine breaks, as it could do at any moment (and eventually will, since the battery cannot be replaced), that last page will become permanent, as if out of your whole library you had chosen to print that one alone.

I enjoyed tinkering with my broken book, although I am not sure what I learned from the experience. It seems likely to me, as it does to many historians and scholars, that the form of the technologies in which our words are written and read affects our psychology as writers and readers, therefore the character that textuality takes in any given epoch. It’s just too early to say exactly what those effects will be for ours. All the same I occasionally worry that books without physical dimensions will entail a loss; that their ghost materiality will make them mean less. As I peer within the layers of the screen of my dead Kindle I am reminded that this is not quite so, and that aspects of that history survive –for history is always the hardest to die."
kindle  giovannitiso  2015  electronics  eink  ebooks  publishing  digital  technology  computers  screens  computing  displays 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Aren’t libraries already doing that? — The Message — Medium
"My questions about the current big plan to “give” ebooks to low income kids

Yesterday’s announcement was exciting. The White House in collaboration with the Digital Public Library of America, The Institute for Museum and Library Services, and New York Public Library will work together with the rest of nation’s libraries to give low income kids better access to digital reading material and get them excited about reading. But are the project’s offered solutions really addressing the real problems and needs of the communities it is trying to reach?"



"What is missing from current e-reader book lending apps? Is the new app going to be available on all platforms? Will it work for people who are print-disabled? Who is offering tech support? Will people need to register to use the app? Will they need an email address to do that? Will their reading lists be tracked? Will the app’s privacy policy be in line with state patron privacy laws? Will the app also help people find print books since surveys are still indicating that print is what many Millennials prefer.

The Target Audience

Providing access to physical resources like print books is straightforward. Giving access to shared technologically-mediated resources is significantly more complex. How do we provide democratic access to content through libraries and schools but still reach the target demographic and provide digital equity?

How does providing digital content via apps serve the hardest to serve when, according to NPR’s All Things Considered “nearly 40 percent of households that earned less than $25,000 a year didn’t have a computer” and less than half had internet access? Even DPLA’s Executive Director Dan Cohen admits we’re still barely at majority smartphone adoption in low-income families. Will lending tablets — tangentially mentioned as part of this project — be enough to span this gap? Apple has said they’re donating $100 million worth of devices, but we don’t know if those are going to libraries as well as schools.

Will the app be for all children but just marketed towards low-income children? How do we get this program’s target audience to the library in the first place when transportation is often cited as a major impediment for low-income people to access their libraries? How will this program work with existing library ebook programs, or existing wifi hotspot lending programs (how are those going anyhow)? FirstBook has impressive statistics backing up its print book program. Is there any research that indicates that the lack of a good reading app and tablet computers is what is inhibiting the reading progress and literacy of low-income children? How will this program be assessed to ensure that it’s meeting its stated goals?

The Publishers

Publisher anxiety about offering up free digital content is understandable and yet the largest dollar amounts promoted in this program are for content supposedly being donated. What does it mean to “donate” ebooks?

Do publishers get tax writeoffs for the donations of thousands of digital copies of their titles to this non-profit project? What about overlap with titles libraries have already purchased? Will the project work with publishers to help make library patron access to ebooks in general a more pleasant and straightforward process? Does “unlimited access” really mean no Digital Rights Management or other technological limitations on accessing the donated content? Who will own these titles and what are the licensing terms? Will the content remain available to libraries and readers after the three year program period has ended?

Is anyone curating this collection to ensure that it’s balanced and appropriate for the target audience? We’re told that “Librarians will work with publishers to create recommendation and suggestion lists.” How is this different from what libraries are already doing?

The Libraries

We like to be part of these projects. Yet sometimes it seems that people are trading on the good name of libraries without actually providing material support to our infrastructure needs.

What do people feel isn’t working with libraries’ existing ebook lending programs? According to Paste Magazine, libraries in some communities are “promising to place library cards into the hands of young readers.” Aren’t they already doing this? Why, if this project “leverage(s) the extensive resources of the nation’s 16,500 public libraries to help kids develop a love of reading and discovery” is there no money in this wide-ranging project for the libraries themselves, besides money for broadband?

Who is going to teach digital literacy skills and help people use the app? Is it appropriate to have librarians volunteering for this via DPLA? Why are librarians being managed by DPLA instead of their existing professional organizations? Is there going to be an associated advocacy effort to ensure that school libraries continue to employ trained librarians, since this is one of the biggest threats to youth literacy?

The Ebooks

Ebooks are not as much of a monolithic entity as the name implies. Just saying “ebooks” does not give much information about what is being proposed.

Will these ebooks be in open formats or accessible at all outside of the program app? What about the free ebook/reading projects that have gone before, and still exist?"



"Many of the patrons who email us may have never interacted with an ebook or a library before. The library to them is not just the content but also the people they interact with and the interfaces they have to navigate. Setting your sights on low-income readers is an admirable goal; those people will need help, even with the best-designed apps and the simplest tablets. Plan for it, it’s a part of the project that won’t scale well.

The hardest to serve are often the hardest to serve specifically because they can’t be reached simply with apps and goodwill and a pure heart. If that was all it took, our work would be done already. Libraries have been working at easing the literacy divide, the digital divide, and the empowerment divide for decades if not centuries. No one wants to increase literacy and love of reading more than the public librarians of the world. So I’m excited, but also cautious. We’ve seen a lot of well-meaning projects come and go.

Kids have access to thousands of free books and ebooks from their public libraries right now in the United States. Think of what we could do if we worked together to invest in ebooks and our existing infrastructure instead of building yet another app and hoping that this time the things we promised would come true."
ebooks  dpla  libraries  accessibility  access  books  applications  smartphones  internet  privacy  equity  digitaldivide  reading  howweread  audience  infrastructue  ereaders  2015 
may 2015 by robertogreco
K. Verlag | Press / Books / . 1 Fantasies of the Library
"… is a sequence of pages wherein the reader-as-exhibition-viewer learns, rather surprisingly—but with growing conviction—that the library is not only a curatorial space, but that its bibliological imaginary is also a fertile territory for the exploration of paginated affairs in the Anthropocene. 

Fantasies of the Library inaugurates the intercalations: paginated exhibition series. Virtually stacked alongside Anna-Sophie Springer’s feature essay "Melancholies of the Paginated Mind" about unorthodox responses to the institutional ordering principles of book collections, the volume includes an interview with Rick Prelinger and Megan Shaw Prelinger of the Prelinger Library in San Francisco; reflections on the role of cultural memory and the archive by Hammad Nasar, Head of Research and Programmes at the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; a conversation with media theorist Joanna Zylinska about experiments on the intersections of curatorial practice and open source e-books; and a discussion between K’s co-director Charles Stankievech and platform developer Adam Hyde on new approaches to open source publishing in science and academia. The photo essay, “Reading Rooms Reading Machines,” presents views of unusual historical libraries next to works by artists such as Kader Attia, Andrew Beccone, Mark Dion, Rodney Graham, Katie Paterson, Veronika Spierenburg, Andrew Norman Wilson, and others.

Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin

Design by Katharina Tauer

Paperback, thread-bound, 160 pages

30 color + 15 black/white images

ISBN 978-0-9939074-0-1 15.99 €

Co-published by K. Verlag and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

Made possible by the Schering Stiftung

Order the book via info@k-verlag.com

+ + 6 for 4: The intercalations box set subscription offer! + +

.

Published in January 2015"
books  toread  2015  anthropocene  anna-sophiespringer  collections  libraries  prelingerlibrary  meganshawprelinger  hammadnasar  rickprelinger  opensource  publishing  ebooks  charlesstankievech  adamhyde  kaderattia  andrewbeccone  markdion  rodneygraham  katiepaterson  veronikaspierenburg  andrewnormanwilson  etienneturpin  kverlag  katharinatauer 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Books Matter: Design Observer
"I recently gave a talk to a library group about why the printed book still matters. I had been asked to address the subject of “Books in a Digital World,” but I chose to focus much more closely on the characteristics of printed objects that are not effectively represented in facsimile. That is: what cannot be captured in a scan.

I’ve been carrying this list in my head for years, adding to it one reason at a time. In my profession, as a librarian and a curator, this list (of which what follows is only a portion) functions as an apologia pro vita mia—rational defenses for the continued existence of the printed codex—and my involvement with them.

Ten Good Reasons the Book is Important

1. It is a piece of technology that lasts.
The codex is one of the longest-lived of all technologies. It has been improved-upon—but changed only slightly—over the centuries. Movable type printing has been around since the 1450s; the codex form has been in use for as long as 2000 years. These are extremely durable tools and forms.

2. It needs very little, if any, extra technology to be accessed.
(Ignoring, of course, that terrifying Twilight Zone episode, “Time Enough to Last,” in which the last man alive on Earth breaks his eyeglasses… .) Other media demand devices to be deciphered. Yes, printed information is coded, via language and graphic systems of representation. But in general, these are codes that are managed by human eyes, hands, and brains—tools we carry with us.

3. The book retains evidence.
These forms of evidence include: notes; names of owners; annotations. These all help us understand how books functioned as possessions and learning tools, and how they traveled from one owner or reader to another. As a librarian, I don’t advocate writing in books, but I am excited when I find an eighteenth-century American schoolbook that contains handwriting exercises on its pages.

4. Books are true to form.
Books are meant to be seen and read in specific ways. Many early books had sections that were intended to be viewed as two-page spreads—not isolated from each other, as often happens in online viewers. The same observation can be made about scrolls; their presentation was key to how they were interpreted. We can’t forget that reading can have a ceremonial function.

5. Each copy of a book is potentially unique …
… at least up through the second industrial age. Changes to texts often show up in different copies of books that are assumed to be identical. Printing involved mainly manual processes until the end of the nineteenth century—sometimes necessitating stop-press corrections. These kinds of changes can teach us about the genealogy of printed works. Many digital scanning projects are necessarily limited to the selection of the “best” copy of a book, which, once scanned, stands in for every other copy.

6. Printed items are consumable goods …
… in passive and active ways. Some classes of books and printed objects are meant to live only a short while—to provide information and then be discarded. Lucky for us, when copies of such ephemeral items have managed to survive, we have data that record phenomena that can be extremely difficult to document otherwise. Such is the case with flyers, brochures, tickets, posters, and other single-sheet printed items.

7. A book is an object fixed in time.
A book can tell us about its status in history. If we look through first editions of Moby Dick or Leaves of Grass, we find that they give away information not only about when they were created, but also about the worlds in which they were created, by way of advertisements, bindings, the quality of their paper, and watermarks on that paper. Such components are often not captured by scanning or are flattened out to make them of negligible use. In Nicholson Baker’s Double Fold—his saga about how libraries microfilmed runs of newspapers in the 1950s and 1960s and then discarded them—one of his chief complaints was that the filmers skipped advertising supplements and cartoons: things that had been deemed unimportant.

8. A book can be an object of beauty and human craftsmanship.
Those qualities alone are of significant value.

9. When you are reading a book in a public place, other people can see what you are reading.
Reading is generally a private activity, but it also has social functions. Even when we hold a book up in front of our faces, we are telling the world what we’re reading—or in the very least—that we are reading a book (rather than tweeting about the books we wish we were reading … ).

10. The Internet will never contain every book.
The growth of information is exponential—with vast universes of new data being created online every day. Many swaths of old information—in the forms of books, magazines, and pamphlets—will never make it online. There are projects and grants for scanning specific topics—English eighteenth-century provincial newspapers, Latin American imprints—but significant bodies of work of minor stature will never make the cut."

[See also Matt Thomas's notes: http://submittedforyourperusal.com/2015/03/04/ten-good-reasons-the-book-is-important/ ]
books  design  technology  ebooks  print  digital  2015  timothyyoung  craftsmanship  display  object  atemporality  text  evidence  marginalia  annotation  durability  via:austinkleon 
march 2015 by robertogreco
What You Should Know This Week
"Although e-books, including digital textbooks, have added to new features to make them more attractive to readers – the ability to add highlights, the ability to search the entire corpus – these are secondary to students, who still prefer making their own notes and being able to flip to indexes and Tables of Content. And neither print not digital textbooks have managed to address the big problem that college students face: the rising cost. (That is, digital textbooks tend not to be much cheaper.)

Often we tell a story of technology that posits it’s all inevitable: e-books will mean the end of print; computers will mean the end of paper. But technology development and technology adoption do not necessarily march forward like that. We also assume that younger students – labeled “digital natives” as The Washington Post does in its coverage of Baron’s book – necessarily want more technology because they’re more comfortable and more adept with it.

“My major concern,” Baron told TNR, “as a person in higher education, is that we’re not listening. We’re assuming we’re being helpful by lowering price, by making it more convenient, by helping the environment, but we don’t bother asking our students what they think.”"
audreywatters  teaching  learning  pedagogy  print  digital  books  education  students  studentvoice  2015  listening  input  howweteach  howwelearn  technology  edtech  screens  naomibaron  ebooks 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Hearing Is Believing - NYTimes.com
"The aural/oral revolution won’t mean the end of the book any more than the e-book did. Besides, the “non-text-based” work of literature has a long tradition. “In the history of mankind, words were heard before they were seen,” wrote Albert B. Lord, the author of “The Singer of Tales,” a classic work of scholarship that traced oral literature from Homer through “Beowulf” and the tales, still recited today, of Balkan poets capable of reciting thousands of lines of verse by heart.

Progress doesn’t always mean going forward."
audio  books  ebooks  audiobooks  podcasts  progress  aural  oral  orality  text  literature  oraltradition  2015  jamesatlas 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Interview with Sjón | The White Review
"Q: THE WHITE REVIEW — Where are you from? And how did you come to write?

A: SJÓN — I was born in Reykjavík in 1962. From the beginning I read everything, from children’s books to newspapers – whatever printed material came into the house. At the age of 8 I discovered Icelandic folk stories, which is when I truly started waking up to literature. A year later, I discovered poetry. In school we were given a big collection of poetry, which was to last us throughout our school years, and I started reading this book for pleasure at home. I was reading detective novels, Icelandic folk stories, and Icelandic romantic poetry from very early on. Early reading teaches you the different possibilities of text.

When I came into my teenage years I became a huge David Bowie fan. To be a David Bowie fan in Iceland you more or less had to teach yourself English – to translate the lyrics, to be able to read the interviews in NME. My infatuation with Bowie prepared me for my discovery of modernist poetry, first in translation. At the age of 15 I found a book of Icelandic modernists from the end of the Second World War. That’s when modernism came to Iceland – and they were very much influenced by the surrealists. Somehow, I was bitten by the bug. It simply fascinated me that you were allowed to use the Icelandic language in this way, to create these incredible images and metaphors, and to present such ideas with the Icelandic language. I felt like I should be a part of it. So I started writing poetry and in a few months time I had written enough poetry for a book. I published my first book of poetry the summer I turned 16.

Q: THE WHITE REVIEW — You speak of an early interest in the various kinds of text, and your own writing is not easily assimilated into any single textual mode. As a writer, lyricist and poet, you move in and out of these different formats. What do you classify yourself as first and foremost, if anything? How might this resistance to categorisation link in to your interest in surrealism?

A: SJÓN — I’m a novelist who occasionally writes poetry. I write librettos, lyrics and children’s books but these are all collaborations that I do in between working on novels and poetry. One of the wonders of the novel is how easily it absorbs diverse texts. Everything that is written, whether it is non-fiction, old archives, newspaper articles, lullabies – somehow it can always find its place in the novel, and for that reason the novel became more important to me than the poem.

The novel is encyclopaedic: all of the different manners of expressing oneself in words can find their place there. In the Eighties my friends and I formed a group of surrealist poets called Medusa. Surrealism brings so much with it and one of the first things I realised when I became excited by surrealism was its link with folk stories. Surrealism is always non-academic, always looking for the source of human activity, looking into the back alleys and the darkest clearing in the forest for excitement. Somehow it was always very natural for me to bring all these different things together in what I was doing.

Q: THE WHITE REVIEW — Your novels are hybrids – a crossbreed of narrative fiction, historical fact, myth, music…

A: SJÓN — I like my novels to be made up of different parts, realities, states of consciousness. I now see my work as realist because everything I write is grounded in at least the experience of the character, here, in earthly life. The strange things that happen in the books are what happens in people’s minds, what they experience as truth. That of course creates a hybrid, when your standard is something normalised and accepted as the only way to experience reality.

Q: THE WHITE REVIEW — Music is a great part of this assortment – you’ve mentioned Bowie as an influence, and you have collaborated with musicians such as Björk. Do you think that words can achieve the condition of music, which has a much greater immediacy and is far less freighted with multiple meanings?

A: SJÓN — I think it’s very important to be open to influence from diverse artistic forms and forms of expression. I have been very much influenced by music and one of the routes I took to literature was through the music of David Bowie. I have worked with musicians in all fields – contemporary composers, pop artists – and I’ve worked with very diverse styles of music. But there is a huge difference between words being sung, spoken or read. The emotion that the singing voice brings to the world when sung out loud is something you cannot recreate on paper. I don’t think you should even try.

Q: THE WHITE REVIEW — You have spoken of realising that ‘you could take the classical string quartet as a model for the composition of THE BLUE FOX’. How did you achieve this?

A: SJÓN — I think the fact that I can take the form of the string quartet and use it as the basis of a novel is another proof of how dynamic the novel is. I’m sure that a composer writing a string quartet can learn something from a movie or the structure of film. It was music that gave me the idea of constantly breaking up the narrative. THE BLUE FOX would be a completely different novel if it were chronological. In it, there are constant cliff-hangers and repeated refrains – I’m playing with the element of two melodies that come together but never fully, only in the end finding a solution. It was very interesting that the first people who commented on the book were composers. They said it was very clear to them that I was always playing with volume of information versus text, which is the same thing they do – volume of tones versus time. You can take a melody and stretch it over five minutes, or compress it down to three seconds. They were very much aware of how I was playing with text versus information.

Q: THE WHITE REVIEW — Does your involvement in the world of music, and the musicality of your novels, betray some sort of frustration with the limits of the written word?

A: SJÓN — No. I am in the position where I can move between those different ways of writing. For me, it is a celebration of the many possibilities given to an author. I play no instruments, my only involvement with music is in collaborations with people who know how to do it. It is a privilege to be working with these musicians and to be allowed to bring my words to their work. To hear the words sung is a wonderful present from these people."



"This view actually went against everything that I had been taught in school. The Reformation is presented in Icelandic history books as something very benevolent and it was convenient to ignore that in the first decade after the Reformation life was very difficult for the common man and for scholars. The Methodist church became very dogmatic, and everything that had to do with the old Nordic religion, with old wisdom or old medicine, was banished as sorcery. He is the only historical voice that we have speaking against this. It was an opportunity to put a seed inside somebody’s skull, and take a walk through those times with his eyes."



"The reason that I felt it right to enter this world, this state of complaint against a world going to pieces, is because he lived through the period when the Catholic Church, the only socially responsible institution, was all of a sudden taken away. In Iceland, it is a fact that the Catholic Church was the only welfare structure in the country – we had no king, no dukes, we had no one to take over the social responsibilities when the Catholic Church vanished overnight. All the monasteries were closed down, all the orphanages, the old people’s shelters – everything, overnight. And the duty that the rich had – to keep the livestock alive on behalf of the religious priests who fed the poor – that vanished too.

Jón Guðmundsson is unique in that he is the only one who wrote about this. He bore witness to a world in which man had been relieved of his duty to show charity to his fellow men. This is very much what the last decade has felt like, at least in Iceland, if not many parts of the West. With the deregulation of the economic system, social responsibility was thrown out of the window and all of a sudden the rich became richer and they had no duties any more. This is something that happened with the fall of the Eastern Bloc – the message that we were told then was that capitalism had won and communism was the dark art. The Left lost its voice, at least in Iceland. The centre Left – the social democrats – they decided to start playing along with the capitalists, which is what you would call New Labour here. The real Left was all of a sudden presented as the losers of history, even though these people had been in opposition to the totalitarian regimes in the East for decades. All of a sudden everything that began with the word ‘social’ was a dirty word. The social contract that was established in most of the West after the Second World War, was dealt the final blow."



"In times where grand narratives are needed we look to the grand narratives of our culture. In our case it is the great myths, and sometimes it is to give name to something like the panic after September 11. Myth always puts man down to size, and man realises he is just this tiny figure moving from one meal to another on his way to the grave.

Q: THE WHITE REVIEW — Oral tradition is very much a part of myth. Is this something that can still exist today?

A: SJÓN — You have a whole continent, Africa, which has so many languages that have still not found a written form. There are places that have an unbroken tradition, stretching thousands of years back, of telling the same stories over and over again. Mostly here in the West we have lost the ability to protect our culture orally, and maybe we are in danger. What will happen when all the books have flared up and all the Kindles lost their battery power?

Q: THE WHITE REVIEW — Literary translation and the rise of world … [more]
sjón  2012  interviews  iceland  poems  poetry  novels  literature  writing  music  björk  reality  collaboration  surrealism  existence  humans  storytelling  davidbowie  mogenrukov  dogme95  life  living  perspective  curiosity  translation  africa  diversity  myths  myth  mythology  charity  catholicism  history  capitalism  economics  society  collectivism  interdependence  individualism  insignificance  folklore  nature  reformation  religion  magic  mysticism  enlightenment  catholicchurch  9/11  oraltradition  ebooks  books  words  coldwar  socialism  communism  jónguðmundsson  sorcery  songs  posthumanism 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Reedsy: Where authors meet the best publishing professionals
[not one woman on the team]

"What if the best publishing professionals were not at publishing houses anymore? Reedsy helps authors collaborate with expert editors and book designers to take their book to another level. We only work with a select group of the best freelancers, the ones who know the publishing landscape better than a writer knows the taste of hot coffee.

They know how to help. Come meet them."
publishing  ebooks  self-publishing  books  epublishing  selfpublishing 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Mobile Storytelling: The Rebirth of Reading and Writing on Vimeo
"“People say teens don’t read… I have some evidence to suggest completely otherwise,” says Candice Faktor. Wattpad has revolutionized the way novels are created and consumed. As a social platform, Wattpad offers writers an outlet to share their voice and have their stories resonate with a larger community, while allowing global access through mobile devices."

[See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wattpad
"Wattpad is a writing community in which users are able to post articles, stories, fan fiction, and poems about anything either online or through the Wattpad app. The content includes work by undiscovered and published writers. Users are able to comment and like stories or join groups associated with the website. Around half of the users are U.S. based; most users also come from the U.K., Canada, the Philippines, Australia, United Arab Emirates and more."]

[Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/ ]
2015  reading  writing  ebooks  community  mobile  margaretatwood  fanfiction  howweread  howwewrite  candicefaktor  wattpad  android  ios  application  iphone  kindlefire  blackberry  teens  youth  conversation  srg 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Pollen: the book is a program
"Pollen is a publishing system that helps authors create beautiful and functional web-based books. Pollen includes tools for writing, designing, programming, testing, and publishing.

I used Pollen to create my book Butterick’s Practical Typography. Sure, go take a look. Is it better than the last digital book you encountered? Yes it is. Would you like your book to look like that? If so, keep reading.

At the core of Pollen is an argument:

• First, that digital books should be the best books we’ve ever had. So far, they’re not even close.

• Second, that because digital books are software, an author shouldn’t think of a book as merely data. The book is a program.

• Third, that the way we make digital books better than their predecessors is by exploiting this programmability.

That’s what Pollen is for.

Not that you need to be a programmer to use Pollen. On the contrary, the Pollen language is markup-based, so you can write & edit text naturally. But when you want to automate repetitive tasks, add cross-references, or pull in data from other sources, you can access a full programming language from within the text.

That language is Racket. I chose Racket because while the idea for Pollen had been with me for several years, it simply wasn’t possible to build it with other languages. So if it’s unfamiliar to you, don’t panic. It was unfamiliar to me. Once you see what you can do with Pollen & Racket, you may be persuaded. I was.

Or, if you can find a better digital-publishing tool, use that. But I’m never going back to the way I used to work."

[via: http://jslr.tumblr.com/post/95991552051/at-the-core-of-pollen-is-an-argument-first ]
ebooks  epublishing  html  typography  matthewbutterick  pollen  digital  software 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Marvin for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
"Meet Marvin. Your new eBook reader for iOS.

Get Marvin and find out why people are calling it "the most brilliant eReader for iOS to come out in a very long time".

Your books, everywhere. Dropbox. iTunes. Web. OPDS. calibre."
applications  ios  iphone  ipad  marvin  ebooks  reading  books 
august 2014 by robertogreco
inklewriter
"At inkle, we believe it takes great writers to tell great stories.
That’s why we’ve created inklewriter, to help writers tell interactive tales with the minimum of fuss. inklewriter keeps your branching story organised, so you can concentrate on what’s important – the writing.

inklewriter is a free tool designed to allow anyone to write and publish interactive stories. It’s perfect for writers who want to try out interactivity, but also for teachers and students looking to mix computer skills and creative writing."



"Education

inkle is looking to bring interactive stories to the classroom, and give teachers free and simple get-stuck-right-in software to use with their students. From within a web-browser, the inklewriter will let students make and play interactive stories with no programming required.
Why make stories interactive anyway?

The way our stories work is simple: the reader is given the text of a story in a small chunks, and after each, they get to make a decision about what happens next. That could be what a character says, or does - but it could also be a deeper choice, like why a character has done what they've done, or how they feel about something else in the story. Every decision the reader makes is remembered and has the potential to influence things later on - depending on how the author wants to tell their tale.

Our first project, Frankenstein, uses interactivity to explore the different facets of Mary Shelley's original novel - allowing the reader to discover different aspects of the world, follow up hints and allusions in the text, and maybe even take some narrative paths that Shelley herself considered.

How can students get involved?
In the classroom, interactive writing offers an innovative, fun environment in which to write stories. It teaches creativity, language, computer skills and logical thinking - all at the same time!

So we've made inklewriter: a simple, easy-to-use app for writing simple interactive stories. It works in a web browser so there's no setup and no installation. Just click on the link and start writing. Students will be able to save their work and test it without fuss.

Oh, and it's all free.

With a few clicks and a bit of imagination, anyone can start to tell a branching story - and with a bit more thought, they can harness the power of conditional logic to make their stories more intricate and rewarding."
interactivefiction  storytelling  tools  writing  srg  edg  inkle  ebooks  epublishing  games  gaming  inklewriter  if 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Upload - PDFy - Instant PDF Host
"Why does PDFy exist? I got sick of documents getting locked up behind login walls of services like Scribd. PDFy exists to offer a place where anybody can instantly upload and share a PDF, much like Imgur does for images. PDFy is free, ad-free, and non-commercial.

Servers aren't free, though. Your donations are much appreciated. You can donate by clicking here, using PayPal, Bitcoin, or Flattr.

Click to upload ... or drag and drop a PDF file here, to upload it (max. 100 MB).
What you get:

• Your PDF hosted permanently, ad-free.
• Share-able page with PDF viewer (using pdf.js).
• Embeddable version of the viewer.
• Original PDF can be downloaded by anybody, without registration.
• All public PDFs mirrored to the Internet Archive for preservation.

Please don't upload warez! Terms of Service here."

[See also: https://github.com/joepie91/pdfy ]
pdf  pdfs  pdfy  hosting  ebooks  documents  onlinetoolkit  via:caseygollan  scribd  imgur 
july 2014 by robertogreco
The Library Beyond The Book - Jeffrey Schnapp - YouTube
"Harvard Prof. Jeffrey Schnapp on redundancy between digital and analogue formats, physically assembled communities, and multiple types of libraries"
libraries  jeffreyschnapp  2014  reading  books  ebooks  digitalbooks  digitalpublishing  epublishing  digitalage  future  matthewbattles  archives  databases  knowledge  pop-ups  popuplibraries  multiplicity  plurality  thirdspaces  diversity  libraryfuturism  bookfuturism  collecting  access  local  communities 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Full stack writing (and publishing): Welcome to Hi – Tokyo, Japan — A Hi Moment
"Hi is what we call a “full stack”1 writing and publishing platform. Just what is a writing stack? Capture. Write. Publish. is our summary of it, but really it breaks down into five parts:

Sudden inspiration!
Capture
Draft
Publish
Converse
Some platforms provide tools for parts of the stack.
Hi gives you tools for the full stack.
All the pancakes.

**All the pancakes**

What advantages come from having all of your pancakes in one place? The biggest advantage is that it’s easy to weave community into each stage of the writing process. This creates a unique intimacy with an audience. It also makes building an audience feel accessible. In fact, writing on Hi feels less like using a set of tools and more like having an increasingly deepening, extended conversation.

In service to this, much of the work we’ve done these past eight months has been explicitly focused on community building. For example, we have a Welcome Committee at Hi. (Of course, please join if you feel so inclined.) And all conversations for each Hi member are consolidated under a single stream called, unsurprisingly, Conversations.

As you post sketches (our term for short snippets that then turn into longer stories), our community gently prods you to Tell them more. And as you publish finished stories, our community responds with a chorus of Thanks. It may not sound like much, but those two, simple actions create a powerful feedback loop predicated on guidance and optimism.

**Sense and sense making**

Another advantage of having all your pancakes one place is that as a moment moves from sketch to published story, the address (its URL) stays the same. Sketches and stories intermingle. We like to describe sketches as sensing and the full stories as sense making. On Hi, the sense and sense making happen in parallel.

**Real-time**

Which points to another key attribute of Hi: Real-time. Because Hi and our community encourages lots of sketching, we’ve made sure Hi works where inspiration hits — on mobile platforms.2 Location is an integral part of any Hi moment.

What happens when you give a community real-time and mobile friendly tools? They “narratively map the world.”

Thomas Clark in his epic travel poem, In Praise of Walking, describes variously the traversed routes of the world:
Always, everywhere, people have walked, veining the earth with paths, visible and invisible, symmetrical and meandering.


Give folks the proper tools and those veined paths — both as etched into the earth and into our minds — suddenly become more concrete, real, with each sketch or story on Hi existing as a marker in time and place.

**Loops**

Finally, Hi acts — prosaically yet powerfully — as a mailing list. Readers who have asked a writer to “Tell me more” are notified by email when the writer has, indeed, written more. And a writer’s subscribers will similarly get an email when they publish a new story.

In other words: the full stack writing experience on Hi is, at its core, an interlocking set of feedback loops built atop our great community.

For example, when poet Lia Pas sketches about a new iPad, we want her to Tell us more, and so she does: [image]

Or when Luis sketched rather cryptically about a graveyard in Tokyo … he told us more and it was a doozie: [image]

**Writing and rewriting**

Does this full stack of publishing pancakes work for all types of writing? Of course not. Certain writing doesn’t benefit from an everything-public, community-everywhere stack like that of Hi. In fact, certain writing can only be accomplished off the stack. Which is to say there is a meditative quality that presents itself when you move away from an environment like ours.3

But! Many types of writing benefit from, and thrive, within Hi’s full stack.

Travel writing — writing with location at its core — obviously feels at home on this full stack. Real-time, iterative journalism (the covering of protests, emerging and evolving stories, etc) benefits from full stack tools wrapped in community.4 Journaling or chronicling feels particularly comfy on this full stack.

Uniquely, writing almost has to happen in stages. An instagram photo may be finished as soon as its taken, and a sketch on Hi might be worked out the instant it’s posted, but, a longer story? That (usually) needs much more time. E. B. White is famously quoted, “Writing is rewriting.” If you’re looking for thoughtfulness, a piece of writing needs multiple passes. 5

Which is why we’ve deliberately embedded enclaves of calm into our stack. The capture process happens with whatever device you have in hand, as soon as inspiration hits. But the followup or drafting or sense making — the more meditative processes of rewriting — can happen either on that same device, a tablet, or on the desktop. And it can happen minutes, days, or months later.

Which is to say that life happens in real-time but thoughtfulness happens in slow-motion, requiring appropriate time and distance from an event, an insight, a moment. The tools of any full stack writing platform should understand, respond to, and respect that.

**Community**

Hi is a community. A community both narratively mapping the world, and making sense of their everyday lives, their loves, fears, joys, insights — all as connected to place and bound together by topic.

We’ve had a blast these past eight months working on Hi, straightening out the kinks, tightening the feedback loops, making the community feel stronger and more easily connected to one another. Hi is still not perfect, and it’s not for every kind of writer, but if sounds interesting to you, we’d love for you to join us at the table. There’s pancakes aplenty. "
craigmod  hitotoki  writing  howwewrite  publishing  ebooks  blogging  epublishing  web  internet  hi  hi.co  2014  process  walking  place  thomasclark  maps  mapping  time  timing  rewriting  editing  feedback  community  instagram  photography  inspiration  communication  ebwhite  blogs  sharing  digitalpublishing 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Our first digital publication series: Archaeology of the Digital | Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA)
"Most of the material displayed in the 2013 exhibition Archaeology of the Digital had a strong physical presence – sketches, printouts, photographs and models – and exposed the fact that many of the digital files were lost or inaccessible. But subsequent phases of this three-year research program— which studies the genesis and establishment of digital tools for the conceptualization, visualization, and production of architecture—have created new challenges on how to display and give access to the twenty-five projects being documented.

Following the release of the print publication accompanying the 2013 exhibition, the question was how the born-digital materials of these projects could be disseminated and their experience enhanced. The decision to develop a new type of electronic publication for Archaeology of the Digital was to highlight the specificity of the digital material and make it as widely accessible as possible. The result is a monthly series of digital monographs on each of the featured projects.

Each monograph includes a conversation between the series editor Greg Lynn and the architect of the featured project, as well as a selection of media that will be published for the first time as digital files, rather than print representations of those files, advancing the boundaries of architectural publishing.

“It features interactive slideshows and videos, a nearly unique innovation in a published reflowable ePub. New issues will continue to advance the boundaries of ePub technology in relation to both its users and producers, a process that parallels the subjects covered by the series,” explain New York-based studio Linked by Air, who designed and developed the series.



Forthcoming publications in the series will include the Expanding Sphere and Iris Dome by Chuck Hoberman, Odawara Municipal Sports Complex and Galaxy Toyama Gymnasium by Shoei Yoh, Lewis House by Frank Gehry, Muscle NSA by ONL (Kas Oosterhuis and Ilona Lénàrd), Hyposurface by deCOI (Mark Goulthorpe), Objectile Panels by Objectile (Bernard Cache), Catastrophe Machine and X Phylum by Karl Chu, Virtual New York Stock Exchange by Asymptote Architects (Lise Anne Couture and Hani Rashid), H2Oexpo by NOX (Lars Spuybroek), the Yokohama Ferry Terminal by FOA, projects by Neil Denari, UN Studio, RUR/Reiser Umemoto, Wolf Prix, Preston Scott Cohen, Morphosis/Thom Mayne, and more. The series is available on iBooks and can be downloaded directly to your Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.

The CCA’s first e-book accompanied the exhibition Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture, in collaboration with Lars Müller Publishers – a fixed-layout ePub that replicated the graphic design and narrative structure of the original print publication for tablet reading."
digital  publishing  ebooks  media  mediaarchitecture  archives  archaeology  digitalarchaeology  via:shannon_mattern 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Designing in the Borderlands by Frank Chimero
"We spend a lot of time making arguments over how to choose sides on these splits. But after a lot of reflection, I’ve decided that I’m not particularly interested in choosing sides.

I want to be the line, and I want to mess with that line, because that line is a total fabrication. Why fall on the side of print or digital if what’s usually needed is both? Isn’t that a more interesting design problem? Why make books with only text or images if they get better with both? The questions go on and on.

Luckily, these distinctions were drawn by us, which means that we can redraw them. We can move the line, toe it, and breach it with a transgressive practice that tries to turn opposition into symbiosis. But you can only cross the line and confuse the distinction if you commit to the middle space.

These borderlands are the best place for a designer like me, and maybe like you, because the borderlands are where things connect. If you’re in the borderlands, your different tongues, your scattered thoughts, your lack of identification with a group, and all the things that used to be thought of as drawbacks in a specialist enclave become the hardened armor of a shrewd generalist in the borderlands."



"I learned a lot through the design process of The Shape of Design. First, that there are opportunities to produce projects that elegantly incorporate multiple mediums. One only needs to look for them. And second, that these design problems become easier to handle if one considers the system as a whole, instead of attempting to chop it up into separate pieces and attack it as smaller bits. Division reduces them in the same way that Massage, Electric Information Age Book, or The Shape of Design would be made small if the individual parts were isolated. The individual bits would be have differently, and the designer would miss the most important thing: these projects are important and big because they are multiple, and to temporarily make them not so is to misunderstand and misconstruct them. For these sorts of projects, my mantra has become:

Everything all at once.
Everything all together.



I had two goals today.

First, I wanted to articulate the biggest opportunity I see in design today: designer as translator, designer as integrator, designer as a merchant of ideas. We’ve built up so much knowledge that is tucked away in books and websites, and often all that’s needed to get that knowledge the attention it deserves is a gentle massage of tone and a switch of format. We can introduce physical materials to the web to reap the benefits of the network, but we can also translate the web’s content to the physical realm to stabilize it so it can be held and appreciated.

The second goal was to cast an additional mold for a designer, and to provide an explanation about why a person would want to go make weird little books and sit and write essays instead of working at an ad agency or startup for six figures. It’s worth documenting the different ways one can go about pursuing a design practice. There are many stories and paths, and I hope all of this is a reminder that the lines we draw to create the contours of our expectations can be disrupted. And that this disruption can, somehow, be soothing to those of us who identify as something different than the standard.

I’d like to finish by revisiting that Calvino quote:
Whenever humanity seems condemned to heaviness, I think I should fly like Perseus into a different space. I don’t mean escaping into dreams or the irrational. I mean that I have to change my approach, look at the world from a different perspective, with a different logic and with fresh methods of cognition and verification.

I hope you get the opportunity to do this at some point in your career, and that my conclusions will help those of you who identify as generalists. If you do not, perhaps I have convinced you that our conception of work is more flexible than we typically believe. The field is wide open; that is why it’s called a field."
generalists  frankchimero  creativity  design  borders  seams  interstitial  cv  trickster  departmentalization  interdisciplinary  dualism  transdisciplinary  print  digital  books  ebooks  bookfuturism  marshallmcluhan  quentinfiore  buckminsterfuller  multimedia  jeffreyschnapp  adammichaels  allsorts  italocalvino  translation 
april 2014 by robertogreco
» History and Future of the Book (Fall 2014 Digital Studies Course) SAMPLE REALITY
"A book may only be made of paper, cardboard, ink, and glue, but it is nonetheless a remarkable piece of technology—about which we have mostly forgotten it is a piece of technology. This class is concerned with the long history, the varied present, and the uncertain future of the book in the digital age.

We will approach the history of the book in the most materialist way possible. In other words, when we say “books,” we don’t mean novels. We don’t mean texts. We mean books, the actual physical objects. Books have heft. They burn. They mildew. They smell. Their shape and design limit certain uses and encourage others. Similarly, books in the future—or whatever replaces books—will foster certain practices over others.

Over the course of the semester History and Future of the Book will return again and again to three central questions: (1) What is the history of the book as a physical and cultural object? (2) How have current disruptions in reading and writing technology changed the way we use and imagine books? (3) What does the future of the book look like?

Along the way we will consider reading and writing innovations such as electronic paper, e-readers, touchscreen interfaces, DIY publishing experiments, and place-based authoring. We will also address what some critics call the phenomenon of bookishness in contemporary culture—an exaggeration of the most “bookish” elements of a book, which may represent either the last dying gasp of the printed book or herald a renaissance of the form"
books  syllabus  bookfuturism  marksample  2014  projectideas  ebooks  technology  digitalhumanities  syllabi 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Free eBook
"A step-by-step guide to creating an ebook in ePub and mobi formats, complete with ebook template, and a useful style guide for authors."
ebooks  howto  publishing  templates  tutorials  epub  mobi  via:caseygollan  epubs 
april 2014 by robertogreco
BIBLIOTHECA INVISIBILIS
"Bibliotheca Invisibilis seeks to gather all sorts of conceptualizations of the Invisible. You are invited to participate by sharing your work(s) that presents the invisible (including but not limited to invisible text).

Your works can exist (and if there's a link I'm happy to link to it), or be imaginary. The key is to share the work with (some of) its underlying conceptualization.

If you would like to participate, please send the following:

1) Title or name of work
2) Write-up on the work's concept
3) An illustration (e.g. book cover, interior text, or whatever you deem appropriate)
4) Bio and Author photo

Send information to, or ask questions of, me at Nalanda10@aol.com

Best,
Eileen R. Tabios
Library Director, Bibliotheca Invisibilis

*****

Invitation to Curate

While Bibliotheca Invisibilis will continue to be open to individual participants, we are also open to hosting a curated group of works on the theme of Invisibility. Note that the "publisher" of this Blog and the works you choose is Blogger (Blogger has certain constraints which we can discuss if you act as Curator). While you can present as many works as you wish within your curated group of works, it's best to anticipate that you should find a minimum of five different poets/artists represented. To curate a group of works (real and/or imaginary), please email me at Nalanda10@aol.com; if I don't know you, in your initial contact please share some background info (or bio) about yourself.

Best,
Eileen R. Tabios
Library Director, Bibliotheca Invisibilis"
via:soulellis  books  ebooks  invisibility  eileentabios  invisible  text 
march 2014 by robertogreco
My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts, Hayles
"We live in a world, according to N. Katherine Hayles, where new languages are constantly emerging, proliferating, and fading into obsolescence. These are languages of our own making: the programming languages written in code for the intelligent machines we call computers. Hayles's latest exploration provides an exciting new way of understanding the relations between code and language and considers how their interactions have affected creative, technological, and artistic practices.

My Mother Was a Computer explores how the impact of code on everyday life has become comparable to that of speech and writing: language and code have grown more entangled, the lines that once separated humans from machines, analog from digital, and old technologies from new ones have become blurred. My Mother Was a Computer gives us the tools necessary to make sense of these complex relationships. Hayles argues that we live in an age of intermediation that challenges our ideas about language, subjectivity, literary objects, and textuality. This process of intermediation takes place where digital media interact with cultural practices associated with older media, and here Hayles sharply portrays such interactions: how code differs from speech; how electronic text differs from print; the effects of digital media on the idea of the self; the effects of digitality on printed books; our conceptions of computers as living beings; the possibility that human consciousness itself might be computational; and the subjective cosmology wherein humans see the universe through the lens of their own digital age.

We are the children of computers in more than one sense, and no critic has done more than N. Katherine Hayles to explain how these technologies define us and our culture. Heady and provocative, My Mother Was a Computer will be judged as her best work yet. "
coding  books  boofuturism  nkaterinehayles  toread  via:caseygollan  media  digital  digitalmedia  2005  elextronictexts  ebooks  print 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Interactive Criticism: House of Leaves as Haptic Interface
"House of Leaves demands what Laura U. Marks, in Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media, calls “haptic criticism.” A haptic interface is one that engages our skin before our intellect, our body before our brain. Certain media devices could be described as peculiarly haptic (such as the Xbox Kinect or Apple’s iPad), but all media have the potential to be (or necessarily are) haptic. A book has an odor, a certain weight in our hands, a tactile pleasure at the turn of a page. The film strip has an audible clack as it moves through the projector, and the emulsion dissolves sweetly before our eyes. And, even if these media are rendered mostly intangible, books and films will always have a physical impact on us, causing us to recoil, sigh, bristle, and scream. For Marks, when we write about literary texts, “the task is to make the dry words retain a trace of the wetness of the encounter” (x). Roland Barthes writes similarly in The Pleasure of the Text, “Text means Tissue” (64), a nod to the literal substances from which books are made (pulp, rag, and animal hide), while also alluding to the materiality of language. When we read, we engage the physical object of the book in an intimate way, each of us handling books with our own idiosyncrasies. Some readers will delicately cradle an open book in two hands, whereas others will forcefully bend the cover back and pinch the book violently between the thumb and forefinger of one hand. How we handle a printed text effects how we encounter and interpret its contents.

Quote from Roland BarthesBarthes continues, “What I enjoy in a narrative is not directly its content or even its structure, but rather the abrasions I impose upon the fine surface” (12). His use of the word “abrasions” suggests there is indeed something violent about how we interact with a written text. And the act of reading, for better or worse, is something we “impose” upon a text. Thus, Barthes talks further about how “applied reading” (12) disrupts the “integrity of the text” (11). The word “integrity” is italicized (by Barthes), drawing attention to its polyvalency. Applied reading doesn’t just disrupt the value or moral character of a text; applied reading tears at the text’s cohesive fabric, punctures its skin, rips its pages and paragraphs, dissects its innards. This is not only what reading can do, for Barthes, but what it must do. The goal of reading is “not to devour, to gobble, but to graze, to browse scrupulously, to rediscover” (13). We metaphorically engage the flesh of a word when we focus on the typographical choices that govern how a word looks on the page, but we engage the flesh of a word even more literally when we notice and concern ourselves with how a word feels as it comes out of our mouths. Each word has a shape, a part of our mouths, lungs, throat, or gut that it tickles or mobilizes into action. We don’t just gobble words, but also expel them. This is a biting criticism of another sort; but my work here is about a kind of criticism that bites back. The violence we do to a text is minor when compared to the violence a text can do to us, if we let it."



"I’ve spent more time not reading House of Leaves than I’ve spent reading other books. The book haunts me — hits me sidelong when I least expect it. It bubbles to the surface at inopportune moments. And there are holes in the text I haven’t yet fallen into. Holes in the text I probably never will fall into. All the while, the book incessantly urges me and its other readers to examine our looking away — and to examine our compulsion to avoid thinking about or theorizing that looking away. An interactive criticism takes as its subject criticism and so must be unabashed about the many lovely (and not so lovely) shapes of that criticism. Sometimes, the shape of that criticism is a hole or a gap, one we can only hollar into."
jessestommel  books  reading  howweread  text  haptic  touch  rolandbarthes  texture  markdanielewski  2014  lauramarks  katherinehayles  ebooks  space  narraive  storytelling  jeffreyjeromecohen  seanmichaelmorris  echolocation  interactivecriticism  hapticcriticism 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Sawyer Hollenshead | Creating an ebook with Siteleaf
"For this year’s edition of Pocket - A Reading List I wanted to try something different. Last year I made the entire ePub by hand. An ebook is basically just a bunch of HTML files that are “zipped” into a single file, in my case it’s one HTML file per article/chapter. With each article in a separate HTML file, it’s very time consuming to play around with different layouts and styles. If I wanted to make a change to the formatting of the title page, for example, then I’d have to go into each HTML file and change the markup. No fun.

This year I decided to move the management of the ebook content into a content management system. Siteleaf, a product of ours at Oak, turned out to be the perfect content management system for an ebook. Siteleaf is great because it outputs your content as plain HTML files by default. It also has a “wildcard” feature where you can append .liquid to the end of any filename and use templating tags within the file. This wildcarding feature was perfect for creating non-HTML ebook files like the toc.ncx and content.opf files, which are detailed below."
books  ebooks  tools  onlinetoolkit  epub  mobi  howto  selfpublishing  2013  sawyerhollenshead  epubs  self-publishing 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Frankenfont | Fathom
"An edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein laid out using characters and glyphs from PDF documents obtained through internet searches. The incomplete fonts found in the PDFs were reassembled into the text of Frankenstein based on their frequency of use. The most common characters are employed at the beginning of the book, and the text devolves into less common, more grotesque shapes and forms toward the end.

The beginning of the book is comprised largely of Arial, Helvetica, and the occasional Times New Roman. As you might expect, these are by far the most common fonts used in documents.

By page 46 and 47, things have progressed to a lot of Arial Bold and Times Italic.

In the 200s, commonly used script fonts, as well as much more obscure faces are beginning to appear.

As we reach the end, the book has devolved significantly: non-Roman fonts, highly specialized typefaces, and even pictogram fonts abound.

Process. For each of the 5,483 unique words in the book, we ran a search (using the Yahoo! Search API) that was filtered to just PDF files. We downloaded the top 10 to 15 hits for each word, producing 64,076 PDF files (some were no longer available, others were duplicates). Inside these PDFs were 347,565 subsetted fonts.From those fonts, 55,382 unique glyph shapes were used to fill the 342,889 individual letters found in the Frankenstein text.

PDF Fonts. This project started because of a fascination with the way that PDF files contain incomplete versions of fonts. The shape data is high enough quality to reproduce the original document, however only the necessary characters (and little of the font’s “metrics” that are used for proper typographic layout) are included in the PDF. This prevents others from extracting the fonts to be used for practical purposes, but creates an opportunity for a curious Victor Frankenstein who wants to use these incomplete pieces to create something entirely different."
books  ebooks  fonts  frankenstein  pdf  glyphs  characters  internet  search  maryshelly  frankenfont  srg  benfry  2011  papernet 
january 2014 by robertogreco
What a dodo might teach us about books / Snarkmarket
"We seem to be living in a perpetual age of the death throes of The Book. 1 There are too many pieces to count that insist that the book is dead or (despite all odds) is thriving, that paper books are different/better/worse than electronic books, that game apps will save books, blah blah blah. We seem to rehash the same surface-level observations over and over again. As my friend Alan Jacobs wondered, “Why do people still write as though they’re the first ones to think about the difference between e-books and codices?” I’ll spare you my thoughts on the subject, since I’ll only gripe about how people misunderstand the complexities of books, whether on a print or a digital platform, and who wants to read more griping?

If you want to think about these questions through experiencing them, let’s look instead at some books that live on the boundary between print and electronic. The obvious starting place is Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse’s Between Page and Screen (Siglio Press, 2012): it exists in a codex form that can be held in your hand but to read it, you’ll need a computer. The pages of the book are black-and-white geometric shapes that are referred to as markers or hieroglyphs or sigils. The shapes aren’t legible as words to the human eye; hold them up to your webcam, however, and the book’s website will show back to you the poem floating above the page."



"There are other books that take the graphic approach to the question of where the boundary is between print and electronic. Silvio Lorusso and Sebastian Schmieg’s 56 Broken Kindle Screens: Photographed E Ink, Collected Online, Printed On Demand (2012) consists of 56 images of broken Kindle screens found on Flickr and then reproduced in a print-on-demand paperback. The images can be gorgeous, and I love both the way it turns broken objects into art and the layers of mediation, moving from e-ink to pixel to paper, that goes into producing it. And my scholar’s heart loves that at the back of the book are credits for each image.



There’s also the more straightforward projects of printing out the web. Rob Matthews, in 2012, printed out 0.01% of Wikipedia as a 5000-page, 1’7” tall book (XKCD, by the way, has worked out how many printers it would take to print out the entire English-language Wikipedia). There’s the ongoing Printing out the Internet (“A crowdsourced project to literally print out the entire internet.”), which doesn’t seem as clever to me as it does to its creators, although it’s apparently somehow intended to memorialize Aaron Swartz. If that’s not enough, the Library of the Printed Web displays the terrifying number of projects devoted to variations of this enterprise. It makes me weary just thinking about it. I do love The Art of Google Books, however, and if its creator, Krissy Wilson, does end up making a book from the Tumblr (as she suggests she’s interested in doing), I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

My favorite book for thinking about technologies and obsolescence is A Dodo at Oxford: The Unreliable Account of a Student and His Pet Dodo (Oxgarth Press, 2010). This book, edited by Philip Atkins and Michael Johnson, purports to be a facsimile edition of a 1695 printed diary of an student at Oxford who owned a dodo. Atkins and Johnson tell the story of finding the book in an Oxfam, searching for more information about it, and finally editing it for us today. The bulk of the volume is their facsimile replication of the diary with their annotations in the margin explaining various historical facts and oddities; there are also a series of appendices explaining early modern printing, including the use of the long-s, ligatures, and signature marks.



Perhaps the main thing to remember as the fruitless debate circles and circles is that any opposition between print and digital is, today, ridiculous. You might think you’re reading a paper book, but it was, I promise you, produced through digital means. The person who wrote it is overwhelmingly likely to have used a computer to do so, it was edited and typeset using software, its distribution is enabled and tracked with databases, and it is reviewed and discussed in both electronic and physical spaces that are enabled by technology. 3

It’s not a black-and-white world out there. Our methods of producing and consuming books will continue to be as multiply shaded as our reactions to them has always been. So here’s to reading instead of fretting!"
snarkmarket  books  ebooks  sarahwerner  howweread  2014  software  digiital  digitaldualism  alanjacobs  print  papernet  reading 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Terre de Grâce - prototype
"Présentation au Labo de l'édition, mai 2013, dans le cadre de l'exposition "Mobilisable, ouvrages expérimentaux pour écrans mobiles, avec Jean-Louis Boissier
http://labodeledition.com/contenu/191/mobilisable-2013-ouvrages-experimentaux-pour-ecrans-mobiles

Terre de Grâce est une toute petite planète que le Dieu-lecteur est amené à faire évoluer. Le lecteur a des propositions d'éléments à ajouter à la planète, et après chacun de ses choix, il assiste à leur impact. Mais la Terre de Grâce est loin d'être aussi harmonieuse qu'il pourrait le vouloir, et ses choix ont des conséquences imprévisibles... Par la prise en main active de l'iPad et sa manipulation, le lecteur peut regarder dedans comme dans une boîte, faire surgir des scènes cachées, observer les scènes de vie sur la planète. Le projet est présenté en l'état de prototype.

Développé grâce à Mobilizing, de Dominique Cunin
http://fdm.ensad.fr/?page_id=887 "
books  ebooks  digitalbooks  ipad  layering 
december 2013 by robertogreco
The Electronic Labyrinth Home Page
"The Electronic Labyrinth is a study of the implications of hypertext for creative writers looking to move beyond traditional notions of linearity.

Our project evaluates hypertext and its potential for use by literary artists in three ways:

1. By placing the development of hypertext in the context of the literary tradition of non-linear approaches to narrative. This context provides a means of re-evaluating the concept of the book in the age of electronic text. Specific points of investigation include Cortázar's Hopscotch, Nabokov's Pale Fire, Pavic's Dictionary of the Khazars, and Sterne's Tristram Shandy.

2. By investigating literary works created specifically for computerized hypertext. These include Joyce's Afternoon, A Story, McDaid's Uncle Buddy's Phantom Funhouse, and Wilmott's Everglade.

3. By evaluating the hardware platforms and software environments available to writers. Criteria include ease of use, availability, methods of distribution and publication, and the tools available to the writer and reader. Our emphasis is placed on the assumptions each environment makes of the writing and reading processes, the metaphors reinforced by the environment, and the freedom allowed the writer to explore new forms. We have focused on IBM-compatible and Apple hardware platforms, and reviewed such software as Eastgate System's Storyspace, Claris' HyperCard, IBM's Linkway, and Ntergaid's Hyperwriter."
via:litherland  1993  christopherkeep  timmclaughlin  robinparmar  storyspace  linkway  hyperwriter  hypercard  jamesjoyce  hypertext  bookfuturism  ebooks  books  publishing  nonlinear  narrative  rayuela  juliocortázar  vladimirnabokov  electroniclabyrinth  non-linear  alinear  linearity 
december 2013 by robertogreco
The Art of Writing in (e)Books — Book club — Medium
"That marginalia are a form of writing which, like other more familiar genres (gothic fiction, love poetry, newspaper articles), has its own standards and conventions or unwritten rules that evolve over time; and therefore that marginalia are susceptible of artistry. Some people are better at it than others. Taste, talent, discrimination, style, originality—all these qualities may be displayed and recognized in this medium as well as in others. We might think that marginalia are private and personal but the history of the form strongly suggests otherwise: people write notes in books for a purpose, and that purpose often includes being seen by other people, so there’s usually an element, largely unconscious, of showing off or trying to impress. If that sounds negative, say rather, of urgency, of trying to persuade someone else to share your point of view.

The celebrated annotators are celebrated for different reasons. It might be for the content of their notes (extraordinarily brilliant commentary and analysis, for instance), or for their wit, humour, or vivid character, or for some sort of distinctive flair. Recognition of their brilliance usually comes from their contemporaries and depends on current notions of best practice—which in turn depend upon the examples or models that are available at the time. Whatever great annotators emerge in the digital age, the qualities for which their writing is admired are not likely to be quite the same as those beloved annotators of the past, because the models they incorporate will have been different. (Modern digital annotators are unlikely to have been modelling their way of writing notes on Swift, Blake, Keats, etc.) I would expect digital annotation, for instance, to be more personal and more personally revealing than marginalia have normally been in the past, because of the example of social media."



"I would say that modern digital readers will have no expectation of privacy—so the experience of reading will be psychologically somewhat different for them from what it has been in the past—and that they will look forward to participating in a group response, with subgroups, alliances, and hostilities (disagreements) probably emerging over time. But it has always been the case that once words are published (that is, put out there) the writer loses control over them and the group moves in to interpret as best it can, according to its own background and needs. The risk I foresee with digital “conversation” is that it will be too big and confusing. If readers feel overwhelmed they might eventually not want to participate, and go back to talking to themselves."



"When people write in books, they do it for some purpose and they have usually seen books marked up in the way they eventually do it. But readers typically develop a method of annotation that suits them only slowly, over time. If you are of an impatient disposition, the sort of person who never opens the manual before trying out a machine, you can just plunge in and learn by trial and error. If you are more reflective, you might want to figure out why you are planning to do this and what you expect to get out of it. Are you using notes to take in information, to express opinions, to correct a text or to make connections with other reading? Are you doing it so that some other reader will read as it were with you, understanding the book as you do? If you do that you will work more purposefully and effectively from the start. Both kinds of annotator are likely to find their practice changing, however, so perhaps it doesn’t matter which type you belong to."
readmill  annotation  marginalia  reading  howweread  2013  heatherjackson  lisasanchez  books  socialmedia  ebooks  allsorts  sharing  community  bookclubs  messiness  conversation 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Pry
"Pry is a hybrid novella by Danny Cannizzaro and Samantha Gorman forthcoming to the iPad this winter. Reimagining the e-book, Pry places the reader inside the mindscape of James, the main protagonist. Form and function resonate to reveal James’ increasing preoccupation with his failing sight and his unreliable memories from a war fought ten years ago."

[See also: http://samanthagorman.net/Pry
https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:8bd96df3ed57 ]
pry  books  ebooks  samanthagorman  dannycannizzaro  storytelling  ipad  ios  2013 
december 2013 by robertogreco
56 Broken Kindle Screens | silviolorusso.com
"56 Broken Kindle Screens is a print on demand paperback that consists of found photos depicting broken Kindle screens. The Kindle is Amazon’s e-reading device which is by default connected to the company’s book store.

The book takes as its starting point the peculiar aesthetic of broken E Ink displays and serves as an examination into the reading device’s materiality. As the screens break, they become collages composed of different pages, cover illustrations and interface elements."

See also:
http://sebastianschmieg.com/56brokenkindlescreens/
https://vimeo.com/48643156
http://www.lulu.com/shop/silvio-lorusso-and-sebastian-schmieg/56-broken-kindle-screens/paperback/product-20329031.html ]
kindle  ebooks  glitchart  silviolorusso  sebastianschmieg  books  2012  broken 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Wordplay — I.M.H.O. — Medium
"I work in digital publishing and I love what I do. Yet for fun, I “play videogames” as much as I “read books.” This still carries a stigma, as if I’m wasting my time with idle pursuits instead of bettering myself through literature. The fact is, a lot of the books I read are kinda trashy, but most of the games I play are pretty good.

I like to play videogames and read books, but more than that, I like to play videogames that are like books. As a little girl in the 1980s, literally the best thing that could happen to me — like, the event that would send me into paroxysms of delight—was the release of a new text-based adventure game. Adventure games were better than dolls, which I hated, or sports, which I sucked at, or movies or books, which were fine but clearly legacy forms of entertainment that, at age 11 or so, I already regarded as so totally over.

It didn’t actually work out that way, though. For reasons that are better documented elsewhere, text adventures weren’t the future of novels, CD-ROMs weren’t the future of non-fiction, and for a tiresome collection of mundane reasons, the meteoric rise of ebooks hasn’t been accompanied by a flowering of interactive experimentation from traditional authors and publishers.

But quietly, games have been filling that gap."

[See also: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/11/this-video-game-could-revolutionize-publishing-and-reading/281765/ ]
lizdaly  device6  blackbar  versu  games  gaming  videogames  ebooks  2013  reading  text 
october 2013 by robertogreco
The People's E-Book
"The web’s simplest, fastest e-book creation tool is now in beta!
We’re bringing in more users every week. If you weren’t a Kickstarter backer,
sign-up below to get on the list."

"What is the People’s E-Book?
The People’s E-Book is a web application you can use to quickly and easily make e-books that work on a ton of platforms. You create, edit, rearrange, refine and experiment with your book on the People’s E‑Book, and the tool takes care of the coding and kicks out an e-book file whenever you need it.

Is it really that fast and easy?
We think so. All you need is a title, a cover image, and a single bit of content to start and you can create an e-book in minutes, not hours.

[video: https://vimeo.com/77174346 ]

What does it cost?
Everyone will always be able to make e-books using The People's E-book for free. While in beta, there will be no restraints, but as we move forward towards the full roll out of the tool, we will be developing a low cost Pro-level tier in order to handle heavy users and storage. This will help ensure that The People's E-book will have a sustainable future.

Does it work on both Mac and PC?
Yes! The People’s E-Book is a web application that runs in any modern browser. There is no software to download or install. You just visit thepeoplesebook.net from any laptop or desktop computer with Internet access. (Sorry, it doesn't work on iPads or other mobile devices.) Your work is continually saved, and your books and asset files are stored in the cloud for accessing any time from anywhere.

What kind of e-books does it make?
Web
The People’s E-Book outputs books in the EPUB format. This is the same format used by Apple, Google, Sony, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and dozens of other e-book vendors in their online stores and e-reading systems. EPUB is the most flexible and universal e-book format available, and with the advent of EPUB 3, it now also supports audio and video.

EPUB is also non-proprietary, requires no license to create or to read, and is based on standard web-compliant HTML and CSS. This means your People’s E-Book e-book will be readable on the most possible devices, for the longest possible time, and in a format designed to outlast even the People’s E-Book itself.

What about Amazon?
Will my People’s E-Book work on the Kindle?
Not yet. Amazon uses an e-book format that's slightly different than everyone else. You may have heard it referred to variously as MOBI, KF8 or AZW. While we hope to offer these and other formats eventually, right now we're focused on helping you make the best possible e-books in what we believe is the best possible format, EPUB. In the meantime, we'll be providing detailed instructions on how you can easily convert your People's E-Book files to a variety of other reading formats on your own.

I want to sell my e-book through Apple and other stores, with the People’s E-Book do that for me?
No. We are not currently offering distribution services for any e-book vendor, though we will provide ideas, resources and recommendations for ways you can do it yourself, or for services you might use. We're also working on a People's E-Book marketplace that will let you share and sell your e-books directly to your fans, quickly and easily.

Do I own the copyright on books I make?
Yes! Your books are your books. We will never sell, distribute or otherwise share your books without your express permission."
thepeople'se-book  webapps  publishing  onlinetoolkit  epubs  epub  epublishing  digitalpublishing  ebooks 
october 2013 by robertogreco
A list of writing tools is a displacement activity - rodcorp
"Writing, focussing, assembling, editing, collaborating, feeding back, researching, structuring, outputting and publishing.

Focus through constraint:

• iaWriter - "Keep your hands on the keyboard and your mind in the text". Has good reviews.
• Byword - "Simple and efficient text editing". Also has good reviews.
• Writeroom - appears a generation older than iaWriter and Byword.
• Textmate - does text , html and a zillion other developer's things.

Research speed and convenience:

• nvALT - Speeds up that did-I-already-write-about-this? moment, auto-saves, does text files, Markdown. Nice. I'm writing this post in it.
• Pinboard - elegantly executed webpage bookmarking.

Collaborating and community feedback:

• Draft - its drafts are neat version control, has premium "ask a pro".
• Poetica - "Get feedback about your writing from people you trust, wherever they are" - not released yet.
• Google Docs - good at collaboration and export, auto-saves. Has automated versioning but without actual version *control*.

Assembling, structuring, editing and eBook workflow:

• Ulysses 3 - "All your texts. In one place. Always." Not tried, but this review says "the app reimagines the text editor in a way that visually resembles Mail and conceptually sits somewhere between iA Writer and the project-based Scrivener". Which sounds like quite a thing.
• Scrivener - looks a bit of a mess to be honest. They also have Scapple, a mind map/words-on-sticks app.
• LeanPub - "Publish Early, Publish Often - Authors and publishers use Leanpub to publish amazing in-progress and completed books". Costs $0.50 plus 10%.
• Lacuna books - "the best way to write and publish a book". Big on structuring, rendering chapters and ebooks easily.

Formats and outputs:

• Marked, Mou - because between text and html, Markdown is the popular "intermediary" format, and these (and nvALT) are good at simultaneous preview.
• And a simple Google Apps script to convert a Google Drive Document to markdown

Online publishing and attention:

• Medium - "A better place to read and write things that matter" - becoming a centre of gravity for serious writing, per-para commenting interesting
• Wattpad - an ebook platform/store/agora that isn't Kindleland.

Back to it now."
writing  tools  onlinetoolkit  rodmclaren  2013  jawriter  byword  writeroom  textmate  nvalt  pinboard  draft  poetica  googledocs  ulysses3  scrivener  leanpub  lacunabooks  marked  mou  markdown  googleapps  googledrive  medium  wattpad  howwework  howwewrite  webapps  publishing  formatting  ebooks  epub  collaboration  editing  focusing  focus  feedback  researching  epublishing  collaborativewriting  digitalpublishing  epubs 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Institute for the Future of the Book
"We're a small think-and-do tank investigating the evolution of intellectual discourse as it shifts from printed pages to networked screens. There are independent branches of Institute in New York, London and Brisbane. The New York branch is affiliated with the Libraries of New York University."

[blog: http://www.futureofthebook.org/blog/ ]

[via http://digress.it/ via http://toolsforconviviality.digress.it/ ]
books  future  bookfuturism  publishing  writing  media  ebooks 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Pandoc - About pandoc
"If you need to convert files from one markup format into another, pandoc is your swiss-army knife. Pandoc can convert documents in markdown, reStructuredText, textile, HTML, DocBook, LaTeX, or MediaWiki markup to

• HTML formats: XHTML, HTML5, and HTML slide shows using Slidy, Slideous, S5, or DZSlides.
• Word processor formats: Microsoft Word docx, OpenOffice/LibreOffice ODT, OpenDocument XML
• Ebooks: EPUB version 2 or 3, FictionBook2
• Documentation formats: DocBook, GNU TexInfo, Groff man pages
• TeX formats: LaTeX, ConTeXt, LaTeX Beamer slides
• PDF via LaTeX
• Lightweight markup formats: Markdown, reStructuredText, AsciiDoc, MediaWiki markup, Emacs Org-Mode, Textile

Pandoc understands a number of useful markdown syntax extensions, including document metadata (title, author, date); footnotes; tables; definition lists; superscript and subscript; strikeout; enhanced ordered lists (start number and numbering style are significant); running example lists; delimited code blocks with syntax highlighting; smart quotes, dashes, and ellipses; markdown inside HTML blocks; and inline LaTeX. If strict markdown compatibility is desired, all of these extensions can be turned off."
pandoc  conversion  html  epub  latex  pdf  html5  onlinetoolkit  ebooks  documents  markdown  text  tools  epublishing  digitalpublishing  epubs 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Lacuna Books
"Lacuna Books is the best way to write and publish a book.

Lacuna Books is an application designed specially for writing books, research papers, and technical documentation. It helps you manage content more effectively and produces beautiful digital books."
books  publishing  software  tools  writing  selfpublishing  ebooks  self-publishing 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Younger Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations | Pew Internet Libraries
"Additionally, younger patrons are significantly more likely than older library visitors to use the library as a space to sit and ready, study, or consume media—some 60% of younger library patrons have done that in the past 12 months, compared with 45% of those ages 30 and older. And most younger Americans say that libraries should have completely separate locations or spaces for different services, such as children’s services, computer labs, reading spaces, and meeting rooms: 57% agree that libraries should “definitely” do this.

Along those lines, patrons and librarians in our focus groups often identified teen hangout spaces as especially important to keep separate from the main reading or lounge areas, not only to reduce noise and interruptions for other patrons, but also to give younger patrons a sense of independence and ownership. A library staff member in our online panel wrote:

“Having a separate children’s area or young adults area will cater solely to those groups and make them feel that the library is theirs. They do not have to deal with adults watching them or monitoring what book they pick or what they choose to do—it’s all about them and what they want with no judgment. Children and teens love having their own space so why not give them that at the library?”"
libraries  youth  2013  trends  hangingout  homago  services  pew  pewinternet  ebooks 
june 2013 by robertogreco
The Future of Libraries: Short on Books, Long on Tech | TIME.com
"A shift is needed. To move libraries from places where you look up facts to those where you learn skills and engage in new experiences. Instead of “shushing” librarians and stilted study rooms, libraries often have integrated art galleries, coffee shops and even cafeterias. And some are even exploring the idea of a 21st century gathering space.

At Harvard, a group of students from the Graduate School of Design created a pop-up space, called the “Labrary,” which shows how a library can move to digital yet still stay vital. Open since last November, the Labrary showcases projects ranging from edible telegrams made with graham crackers and 3-D icing printers to an online photo opera where visitors enter a murder mystery photo booth and experience “death by technology.” The flexible, connected space also brings together workshops to serve the community.

Libraries are also pushing to offer spaces for kids to hang out, play games and learn in what’s being called a “maker culture.” Three years ago, the Chicago Public Library started its YouMedia program to engage kids with interactive learning programs like those focusing on laser cutters and 3-D printers. In Chattanooga, for example, a record-setting 1,200 people stopped by the library in one day to check out large-scale industrial models, 3-D scanners and an experimental 3-D videoconferencing system using Kinect cameras. And Kids in other libraries can do more than use gadgets — they can learn soldering and circuitry to build them.

In some ways, libraries are doing what they’ve always done: adapting to technology, whether by collecting documents, storing records and videotapes or offering e-books and computer terminals. Today, they’re under pressure to give more and create spaces that connect people to information and ideas.

Books won’t fade, but with so many other mediums to explore, libraries, especially those with technology, can enhance skills. Access itself isn’t enough: libraries need to harness the sheer overabundance of information in the digital age and become facilitators to help us sort through the avalanche."
libraries  future  chrystiehill  bexarcounty  sanantonio  books  ebooks  youmedia  chicago  labrary  harvard  brewsterkahle  digital  technology  library2.0  learning  education  unschooling  deschooling  chattanooga  ncsu  thirdspaces  museums 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Hacking the word | booktwo.org
"If we struggle with online literatures, it is because we struggle to understand the network itself. Writing about the network requires a literacy in technology itself – but like the telephone before it, the Internet feels like a profoundly anti-literary plot device – at least until we develop new and better modes of expression to describe it, and it’s affect on our lives. Literature’s inability to describe meaningfully the technologically augmented contemporary world in which we find ourselves seems to mirror our own.



And so not only must our literatures reflect the ubiquity of the network, they must also account for its communality, and its computationality. Literatures produced by groups, by all of us, and literatures produced by the machines, and by us and the machines.

Fan fiction is the first native literary form of the network. It has existed for a long time, before the internet, but it finds its best home there, outwith the domains of copyright and fixed authorship rigorously enforced elsewhere.



Literary form and tradition is not all that remains to be hacked. The systems of production and distribution are more accessible to us, allowing for new hybrid forms, particularly in non-fiction and journalism, books which bleed out of the network in stages, gathered as firsthand reports on Twitter and BBM, coalescing into blogposts and essays, filtered by editors for online columns and opinion pieces, collected into temporary, unstable ebooks as time allows and slowly solidifying into paper books – which themselves might be revised many times, flipping back to digital, quoted and rewritten. This process, again, may not be entirely new, but it is newly visible, exposed by the network and thus more flexible, more amenable to irruption and reconfiguration.



Our attitude to technology, particularly in literary circles, has for far too long been exclusionary and oppositional, envisioning some kind of battle between the “natural” world of human expression and the “unnatural” chattering of the machines. There have been excellent attempts to breach this divide, in the imaginings of science fiction; the coruscating; spam-filled prose of Stewart Home; Kenneth Goldsmith’s “Uncreative Writing”; the spasming code of Kenji Siratori; and many more. But the true literatures of the network will emerge when we abandon notions of the single-authored work, when we abandon authority entirely, when we write in machine argots and programmatic codes, when we listen to the bots and collaborate with them, when we truly begin to understand, and describe, the technologically-saturated culture we are already living in."

[Also published here: http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/16298/1/hackyourfuture-hack-the-word ]
jamesbridle  internet  literature  machines  technology  publishing  2013  networkedliterature  networkedfictions  writing  reading  kenjisiratori  kennethgoldsmith  uncreativewriting  authority  coding  fanfiction  process  journalism  books  twitter  online  web  literacy  googlepoertics  timeshaiku  machinewriting  wikipedia  bots  machinelanguage  automation  ebooks  form 
june 2013 by robertogreco
B&B: Good drinks and good reads in Shimokitazawa | PingMag : Art, Design, Life – from Japan
[Wayback: https://web.archive.org/web/20151028003033/http://pingmag.jp/2013/04/22/bandb/ ]

"Times are changing for publishing. E-books are here to stay and publishers are trying out a range of digital strategies to entice new customers. The music industry was one step ahead and the large retailers like Tower Records and HMV have all felt the pain of declining business, replaced by iTunes and Amazon. Bookstores are likewise looking at an uncertain future.

Well, one answer to how bookstores can continue to bring in readers to shop may lie in a new type of bookseller that has opened in Shimokitazawa, the laid-back Tokyo neighborhood just west of Shibuya.

The formula is visible in the name: B&B. British readers might be forgiven for thinking the shop is actually a cheap form of accommodation (bed and breakfast), but the two b’s are even better than that — “Book & Beer”, two things we at PingMag certainly love. Having coffee and tea for sale in bookstores has been the norm in other parts of the world for years now, but B&B has opted for a more alcoholic version. There is a proper bar with beer on tap, meaning customers can browse while sipping a chilled bevy or read a purchase with a beer in hand.

But this isn’t just about drinking (there are countless bars in Shimokitazawa, after all!). The books are also highly curated, selected per theme and genre by the staff to match the concept of the store. In other words, the entire place is like a magazine.

We sat down with B&B owner Shintaro Uchinuma to chat about the Shimokita’s latest hangout."
bookstores  books  cafes  2013  pingmag  tokyo  japan  openstudioproject  booksellers  shimokitazawa  bookshops  retail  bookfuturism  b&b  publishing  ebooks 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Making the Geologic Now
"Making the Geologic Now: Responses to Material Conditions of Contemporary Life announces shifts in cultural sensibilities and practices. It offers early sightings of an increasingly widespread turn toward the geologic as source of explanation, motivation, and inspiration for creative responses to material conditions of the present moment. In the spirit of a broadside, this edited collection circulates images and short essays from over 40 artists, designers, architects, scholars, and journalists who are extending our active awareness of inhabitation out to the cosmos and down to the Earth’s iron core. Their works are offered as test sites for what might become thinkable and possible if humans were to take up the geologic as our instructive co-designer—as a partner in designing thoughts, things, systems, and experiences. As a reading and viewing event, Making the Geologic Now is designed to move with its audiences while delivering signals from unfolding edges of the "geologic now."

The Website

The Making the Geologic Now website is a creative translation of the book into an interactive website. Readers can update and extend the book by uploading and illustrating their own sightings of "the geologic now." Readers can also join in discussions of articles and images in the book or on the website."
anthropocene  books  geology  elizabethellsworth  jamiekruse  ediacarian  anthropozoic  material  time  design  art  documentary  ebooks  materiality  friendsofthepleistocene 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Publication Studio
"We print and bind books on demand, creating original work with artists and writers we admire. We use any means possible to help writers and artists reach a public: physical books; a digital commons (where anyone can read and annotate our books for free); eBooks; and unique social events with our writers and artists in many cities. We attend to the social life of the book. Publication Studio is a laboratory for publication in its fullest sense—not just the production of books, but the production of a public. This public, which is more than a market, is created through physical production, digital circulation, and social gathering. Together these construct a space of conversation, a public space, which beckons a public into being.

Currently there are eight Publication Studios, in Portland (run by Patricia No and Antonia Pinter), the San Francisco Bay Area, CA (run by Ian Dolton-Thornton, with sage advice from Colter Jacobsen), Vancouver, BC, Canada (run by Keith Higgins and Kathy Slade), Toronto, Ontario, Canada (run by Derek McCormack, Alana Wilcox, and Michael Maranda), Boston (run by Sam Gould), Portland, Maine (run by Daniel Fuller and the Institute for Contemporary Art), Philadelphia (run by Robert Blackson and the Tyler School of Art), Los Angeles (run by Sergio Pastor, Matthew Schum, and Lizzie Fitch), and Malmö, Sweden, run by Ola Stahl. To contact one of the Publication Studios, click on its name on the home-page of this site."
art  artists  books  diy  publishing  portland  oregon  bayarea  sanfrancisco  vancouver  britishcolumbia  toronto  boston  maine  philadelphia  losangeles  publicationstudios  selfpublishing  ebooks  publication  self-publishing  publishers  bc 
february 2013 by robertogreco
The Present Group
"The Present Group is an arts based think tank and creative studio whose projects focus on leveraging new technologies in support of the arts and finding new ways to fund and distribute artists projects."
art  technology  glvo  thinktank  funding  distribution  webhosting  hosting  thepresentgroup  ebooks  tumblr  printing  print  papernet 
february 2013 by robertogreco
The People's E-Book by Hol Art Books — Kickstarter
"A free, beautifully-simple tool to make e-books better.

UPDATE: The People's E-Book will be built! Now, help us build it even better. The more we raise now, the more features we can offer our users in the future. Details coming soon. In the meantime, please keep pledging and keep passing it on to help us build the best free tool for e-books on the planet.

The People's E-Book seeks to be a lab, an incubator, an e-book creation platform for artists, authors, and alternative presses who want to try new things, publish new books, and push into new territories. The People's E-Book will handle e-books of all sizes and scope, but it will excel in areas that no one else has cared to consider—the very small, the quick and dirty, the simple and the experimental.

The People's E-Book is a tool that doesn't account for what e-books are, but rather lets its users imagine what they can be: A short story or an epic poem, a blog post, a manifesto, a photobook, a book of moving photos, a book with a single word, a book with every word, sixteen-million colors, nine swimming pools, a video diary, an idea ...

Make alternative e-books possible. Join us in building The People's E-Book, a remarkable DIY tool anyone can use for free."
publishing  ebooks  diy  tools  toolkit  onlinetoolkit  people'se-book  kickstarter 
february 2013 by robertogreco
How to Make a Book with PressBooks | PressBooks
"How to Make a Book with PressBooks

PressBooks is a simple book publishing tool. Put your book content into PressBooks, edit as you like, and export into ebook and PDF/print-on-demand formats. Here’s how it works:

Short 4-Step Guide to Making a Book with PressBooks

1. Add Book Information (title, author name etc).
2. Add/Organize Text (your chapters etc)
3. Choose Book Design Theme (what your book will look like)
4. Export your book (in MOBI {for Kindle}, EPUB {for Nook/iBooks etc), PDF {for print-on-demand}"
ebooks  publishing  tools  howto  pressbooks  epub  epubs  mobi  pdf  kindle  nook  epublishing  digitalpublishing 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Electric Literature
"MISSION
Electric Literature’s mission is to guide writers and readers through a rapidly evolving publishing landscape. By embracing new technologies and mixed media, collaborating with other publishers, and engaging the literary community online and in-person, Electric Literature aims to support writers while broadening the audience of literary fiction, and ensure that literature remains a vibrant presence in popular culture.

HISTORY
Founded by Andy Hunter and Scott Lindenbaum as a quarterly journal in 2009, Electric Literature launched the first fiction magazine on the iPhone and iPad, and was described by the Washington Post as a “refreshingly bold act of optimism.” The eponymous quarterly anthology paid new and emerging writers and published their work to every viable format, including paper, and was the first to use twitter as a serious literary medium by tweeting an entire short story (Rick Moody’s “Some Contemporary Characters,” Electric Literature no. 3)."
fiction  literature  magazines  journals  toread  ebooks  reading  technology  andyhunter  scottlindebaum  iphone  ios  ipad 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Stop Lying About What You Do | booktwo.org
"I have to confess too, to stop lying.

I don’t read like I used to—although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I rarely finish books. I’ve always had a habit of abandoning novels 50-100 pages before the end. I don’t know why, I’ve always done that. I think I’m doing it more and I don’t mind because I think my critical senses have improved and by eradicating book guilt I’ve reached a point where I am happy to cast things aside. I read 5, 10 books at once. I read them on paper and electronically as the mood takes me.

I read with continuous partial attention and I don’t care that I am frequently interrupting my own reading. I despise the discourse that says we are all shallow, that we are all flighty, distracted, not paying attention. I am paying attention, but I am paying attention to everything, and even if my knowledge is fragmented and hard to synthesise it is wider, and it plays in a vaster sphere, than any knowledge that has gone before."
psychology  future  lies  learning  perception  lying  honesty  ebooks  books  online  web  howweread  attention  2011  jamesbridle  continuouspartialattention  cv  reading  culture 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Everything wants to be digital | booktwo.org
"Everything beckons to us to perceive it. My appreciation of a contemporary text is an appreciation of the network: will this text link me to further texts which will, knowingly or unknowingly, connect me to other texts that will expand or heighten my appreciation, not of it or the other text, but holistically, will raise the network value of texts and experiences in general. And the texts want this too: they are longing for the network.

Literature always adapts to the most disseminable state, and that state, now, is far more complex than our literatures have addressed, or our mental models, our metaphors, have prepared us to be. They can’t help it, but it doesn’t mean the apophatic silence is hand-waving: it is a necessary condition of the present.

The network is an emergent property of the internet…

Everything wants to be, and being is a hybrid, digital state now. Everything wants to be digital. It aspires to that higher form, to be capable of being networked…"
augmentedvalue  texts  howwelearn  howweread  literature  networkeffects  networkeffect  information  freedomofinformation  digitalization  ebooks  robingandy  flatland  poetry  craigdworkin  rolandbarthes  internet  online  web  networkedreading  2012  reading  books  digital  jamesbridle 
december 2012 by robertogreco
The Waste Land for iPad on the iTunes App Store
[This is old, I know. From Touch Press, the ones who made the Elements book for iPad.]

"The Waste Land for iPad brings alive the most revolutionary poem of the last hundred years for a 21st Century audience. A wealth of interactive features illuminate T. S. Eliot's greatest work."

[See also: http://www.touchpress.com/titles/thewasteland/ ]
poems  ebooks  applications  ios  ipad  books  poetry  thewasteland  tselliot 
november 2012 by robertogreco
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