Sunday, March 15, 2009

What we need ...

... is a new Aldus Manutius: Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable. (I had already scheduled this post when I got an email from Lee Lowe drawing my attention to it. Great minds at work.)

Inside the papers, the pragmatists were the ones simply looking out the window and noticing that the real world was increasingly resembling the unthinkable scenario. These people were treated as if they were barking mad. Meanwhile the people spinning visions of popular walled gardens and enthusiastic micropayment adoption, visions unsupported by reality, were regarded not as charlatans but saviors.
Round and round this goes, with the people committed to saving newspapers demanding to know “If the old model is broken, what will work in its place?” To which the answer is: Nothing. Nothing will work. There is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the internet just broke.

This is definitely a must-read. And to put this in perspective, take a look at this and ask yourself how much you've heard about these from the regular news media: THE CINCINNATI TEA PARTY. That looks like a pretty good crowd to me. And why is this in the London Times?


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  2. Anonymous11:03 PM

    My wife and I recently visited the Morgan Library in NYC (one of the premiere rare book collections in the country, among other things) and one of the exhibits included an early octavo volume by Manutius, as discussed in the linked article. They claimed that one of the main reasons he created these was because in Venice, the weather is nice all year round, and people wanted books that were portable so they could go outside and read. If this is true, it would emphasize even more the author's point about minor experiments becoming major innovations.