Imagination, not Dispassionate Imprecision

[ The Note for November 2014 ]

Quoting Albert Einstein, Azar Nafisi reminds us of the vital importance of imaginative vision for actually seeing and making sense of the universe we inhabit. Said the scientist: “I’m enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Stripping the arts out of education doesn’t make us more certain, it makes us less agile, less able to discern what is real in the shifting landscape of experience. The result is devaluation of the human and standardization of thought. Both are ethically unacceptable, and both are costly to society as a whole. Nafisi also quotes Nabokov, who like Einstein and herself was an immigrant citizen whose passion for democracy, basic rights, and human imagination, strengthened our republic. Nabokov would tell students to work “with the passion of a scientist and the precision of a poet.” We are now, as a society, in danger of losing both. We ask scientists to be simply readers of facts, not impassioned explorers, and we misunderstand poetry as a pleasant indulgence, not as the linguistic and expressive frontiersmanship that it is. To deaden both of these for a generation of talents is to deprive our own future economy of what is most valuable: free people dignified by a capacity for the sublime and an aversion to the grave costs of dispassionate imprecision.

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Borders Closure is Green Light for Bookstore Innovation

Borders Books and Music was a place of pilgrimage for book lovers, music lovers and people who loved to sit with coffee and read, chat or peruse magazines they might or might not buy. It has played a vital role in the distribution of books of both wide and narrow market interest, and has driven the cathedral-warehouse paradigm of big bookstore chains. Its failure, however, opens the field for more innovative, more reader-friendly experiments in book selling.

Some have argued that Barnes and Noble was changed by its competition with Borders. Barnes and Noble has long been a leader in the big bookstore sector. But Borders, in many places, went bigger. It stocked everything that might fit into the mainstream book, magazine and music market, and was aggressive in putting full-size cafes in its bookstores, where patrons could sit and read books, whether they bought them or not. Continue reading “Borders Closure is Green Light for Bookstore Innovation”

New Publishing Models to Speed Best Ideas to Application (discussion forum)

Creative writing is part of the work of any writer. Finding the best way to put two words, then three, then four and ten, together, is the basic metabolic process of creating any text. And it requires a vision and an application of that vision. Publishing models determine which texts are made available to a wide audience, and by what means. New media, like this social network, are providing new opportunities, but the crossover between print and digital media will provide bold new opportunities for making the best new ideas available to the people who can do the most with them.

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Page-perfect Touchscreen e-Reader will Revolutionize Mobile Computing

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The Amazon Kindle is a nice device, and it handles its job well, but it is just a very clumsy start to what will be a technological convergence few in mainstream media (and publishing) are anticipating, though it may not be far off. The page-perfect, for lack of a better term, e-reading device will make portable electronic reading easier and more comfortable than ever, packing huge amounts of data, as well as wireless downloading and even browsing capability, into an ultrathin tablet touchscreen.

The device may, after one or two initial iterations, come to have the computing power of today’s less expensive laptop computers, and will capitalize on the great discoveries in user-interface technology that have emerged from the introduction of the iPhone into the mainstream consumer market.

Whether it will belong to Apple, or be the next generation of the Amazon Kindle, or whether an as-yet-unknown pioneer in consumer electronics will pull it off, e-paper technology is certainly advanced enough to make it possible, and it’s just a matter of time until someone figures out the best way to market such a product, building on the success of the Kindle, the iPhone, the inexpensive streamlined netbook, and ever more available flat-rate unlimited mobile web services.

Continue reading “Page-perfect Touchscreen e-Reader will Revolutionize Mobile Computing”

Page-perfect Touchscreen e-Reader will Revolutionize Mobile Computing

Media_httpwwwcasavari_mffmq

The Amazon Kindle is a nice device, and it handles its job well, but it is just a very clumsy start to what will be a technological convergence few in mainstream media (and publishing) are anticipating, though it may not be far off. The page-perfect, for lack of a better term, e-reading device will make portable electronic reading easier and more comfortable than ever, packing huge amounts of data, as well as wireless downloading and even browsing capability, into an ultrathin tablet touchscreen.

The device may, after one or two initial iterations, come to have the computing power of today’s less expensive laptop computers, and will capitalize on the great discoveries in user-interface technology that have emerged from the introduction of the iPhone into the mainstream consumer market.

Continue reading “Page-perfect Touchscreen e-Reader will Revolutionize Mobile Computing”