Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Changing Bookscape

I blogged about what I call the changing bookscape about a year ago in a couple of postings titled “Print is Dead” and “More Print is Dead,” based on observations from a book with the title of Print is Dead by author Jeff Gomez. I won’t repeat the conversation here but its thoughts are echoed in a compelling article in the Wall Street Journal by writer Steven Johnson titled “How the E-book Will Change the Way We Read and Write.” It is must reading for publishing professionals and can be read in its entirety by visiting

Monday, April 20, 2009

Media Matters

Over the course of the last couple days I’ve come across some thought-provoking stuff online and at the theatre that I think proves the point that the media matters, perhaps more than ever, as does our use of media in all the evolving forms and formats available today.

I read an intriguing article in the online version of the Columbia Journalism Review titled “Overload: Journalism’s Battle for Relevance in an Age of Too Much Information.” Included below is a brief excerpt from it and it can be read in its entirety at

The article neatly summarizes: “The future of news depends on the willingness of journalistic organizations to adjust to the new ecology and new economy of information in the digital age. ‘I think in some ways, we need a better metaphor,’ says Michael Delli Carpini, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

‘The gatekeeping metaphor worked pretty well in the twentieth century, but maybe what news organizations should be now is not gatekeepers so much as guides. You don’t want gatekeepers that can say you can get this and you can’t get that. You want people who can guide you through all this stuff,’” suggests Delli Carpini.

Speaking of curators of culture, I saw a compelling movie this weekend called State of Play that juxtaposed the emerging influence of the blogosphere against the fading power of the mainstream media. Russell Crowe plays a veteran old-school journalist and Rachel McAdams plays a new-media blogger, and watching them cooperate to cover a breaking story is interesting and instructive.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Time is Relative

Today is the fifth anniversary of this blog and so I thought I’d commemorate it by posting about the topic I most passionately cover: time and our relationship to it. As today’s title suggests, time is somewhat of a relative concept. It was Greek orator Antiphon who said, “Time is not a reality but a concept or a measure.”

And Albert Einstein explained his theory of relativity this way: “Sitting next to a beautiful woman for an hour seems like a second. Sitting on a hot stove for a second seems like an hour. That is the relativity of time.” In other words, time can be our friend or foe, depending on how we relate to it.

Nowadays, I rarely wear a watch, and then it is more as a fashion accessory than anything else. Granted, the ubiquity of cell phones and other digital devices has contributed to my ability to tell time on the go. But my decision to go watchless is as much a philosophical one as it is a practical one. For me, life is more meaningful when not timed.