Thursday, June 26, 2008

Print and Story

"Bookshops are fine if you already love books, but how do you fall in love with books? Where does it start? There have to be books everywhere, in places where you go before you know you're a reader."(pg. 118 The Story so Far Corey Doctorow, available here
) I'm not a huge Doctorow fan simply because I think he skimps on quality in place of attempting to make a point and skates remarkably close to awkward allegory. I do like this story even for its remarkable transparency. I would take some umbrage with the quote above, however. It's the rosetta stone of this short story as it appears highlighted and bold in the margins on page 118. Neil Postman in his work Building a Bride to the 18th Century makes the point that people reach for their televisions like they used to reach for magazines. Channel surfing is equivalent to page flipping only stopping to read an article/editorial/comic or short story is remarkably and essentially different than landing on a particular program and sinking into it. Books have been everywhere and that has not helped or changed a public's view of them. It is not presence but perspective that is required. It is arguable that in the case of crime a police presence is helpful to deter it but I'm not convinced that the mere presence of books is intimidating enough to encourage people to read. I.E. Douglas Coupland's book Elanor Rigby was selling for a dollar today in B&N. I had already bought a copy of this work when it hit $5 otherwise I would picked up the cheaper copy. Books are continually around us but I would echo the sentiments of bookshop owner of Doctorow's story on the first page. "Honestly, practically no one read books anymore and what they did read was mostly rubbish."(pg. 116) As a future/budding librarian it is my job to encourage the perspective of books on others. This is not simply the art and practice of reading but a thought process and interaction that reflects the logical order of a printed work. I wish this was my idea but credit goes once again to Postman and his Bride to the 18th Century. Postman suggest, and rightly so I think, that "In a culture dominated by print, pbulic discourse tends to be characterized by a coherent, orderly arrangement of facts and ideas. The public for whom it is intnded is generally competent to manage such discource. In a print culture, writers make mistakes when they lie, contradict themselves, fail to suppor thtei generalizations, try to force illogical connections. In a print culture, readers make mistakes when they don't notice, or even worse, don't care." (Pgs. 149-150 Building a Bridge to the 18th Century)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I've not been posting to this site as much because of my latest project through which I have entered into the world of web hosting and to some extent, web design. I set t his site up through which is remarkably cheap and incredibly feature rich. is running off of the WordPress platform. Thanks to the multitude of plug-ins by its users the site is pretty excellent right now. The only thing that may change is the theme. is designed to provide a space for people to discuss ideas particularly those related to education, theology and philosophy. The site's purpose is to foster community based on the relationships that we have already established.
check it out; feel free to register and use the submissions tab to send us some good stuff.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A triad

To begin I'm finally registered for classes after a week of nonsense. I'm about three weeks behind but I knocked out all the work for the one class. God is good as it is all reading and writing which I can do ad nauseum at this point.
1)First part of the triad:why does B&N provide such comfortable chairs? If you walk upstairs, at any given point in the afternoon, there are people in the overstuffed chairs warmed by the sun from the store front windows, completely and utterly asleep. Are their own homes so uncomfortable that they must seek out a retail store to sleep? Or has the purpose of text been relegated to the night stand and afternoon naps as it has lost the ability to compete for the attention of the browsing consumer who is unable to maintain concentration on static print in the absence of visual images. I'm hoping that B&N employees will begin to come around with blankets and pillows at some point.
2) I finished Postman's Conscientious Objections at lunch today. It's very good. I think it is a good introduction to Postman's thinking because it is a collection of his essays and he was kind enough to leave in essays in which he explains certain ideas multiple times which allows the reader to firmly grasp them. I read one of my favorite quotes today while finishing this work which I will share with you.
"A culture does not have to force scholar to flee to render them impotent. A culture does not have to burn books to assure that they will not be read." (pg. 165)
An overstuffed armchair and an overstuffed imagination are sufficient.

Obama Claims Nomination; First Black to Lead a Major Party Ticket

Obama Claims Nomination; First Black to Lead a Major Party Ticket

he's got it. I wonder how divisive this election will be.

Obama Poised to Clinch the Nomination as S.D. Polls Close