shared reading

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Clay Shirky's Interview on the subject of how we will read makes some interesting points:

The question isn't what happens to publishing -- the entire category has been evacuated. The question is, what are the parent professions needed around writing? Publishing isn't one of them. Editing, we need, desperately. Fact-checking, we need. For some kinds of long-form texts, we need designers. [...]

Institutions will try to preserve the problem for which they are the solution. Now publishers are in the business not of overcoming scarcity but of manufacturing demand. And that means that almost all innovation in creation, consumption, distribution and use of text is coming from outside the traditional publishing industry.

Shirky's response to this question

I know that you're very invested in collective action. How can social reading connect to activism?

makes the point that "Books are historically lousy calls to action because they tend not only to be produced slowly but consumed slowly:"

The number of people who've read, say, The Coming Insurrection is tiny. But it used to be impossible for us to find each other, and now it's easy. So -- if you go to Occupy, and if I go to Occupy, and we've both read David Graeber... that sensibility suffuses the crowd, and that crowd is better able to act than it would have been previously. And that synchronizing effect, not so much of time but of shared awareness, that's a big part of the present change, and one that's going to be amplified in the future.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on April 8, 2012 12:29 PM.

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