File this under “Making Shapely Fiction”: A Tea Party protest attracted Birthers and Libertarians and Constitutional “Originalists” and Anti-Abortion Activists and Christian Homeschooler Dominionists and Second Amendment Loyalists and Anti-Immigrationists and Anti-Socialists and Race-Baiters and Mainstream Republican Activists and people who want the government to keep its hands off their Medicare AND people who think they are Taxed Enough Already. If their message seemed “cohesive,” (see also this, this, or any of these) maybe that was because they had a corporate-funded lobby and an entire news network dedicated to shaping the message into a cohesive one for them.



there was recently a post here concerning blake butler and shane jones, and their conversation about writing . the idea of the “internet writer” was brought up. i have used this term before because it signifies a group of people that others would more or less understand. but now i am thinking about the term and it seems difficult to comprehend. does this mean that the quality of the writing (subject, tone and whatever else) is different? does this mean simply that internet writers are those who use the medium of the internet? if so, how does the medium change the style? this seems like an argument that will happen forever and yet never essentially change. meaning, when writing itself became a medium, people were having the same argument (phaedrus, i think). i like the internet because of its liberty. i can write whatever i want and publish it and that may compromise its quality to some, but to me, that guarantees that someone else’s idea of quality doesn’t encroach on mine. what is the meaning of “internet writer?” is there any way to prove that the medium has directly influenced style? i think most terms are bullshit. maybe it is i who am the bullshit though.

Web Hype / 34 Comments
May 2nd, 2009 / 5:39 pm

Wow: The Espresso Book Machine

Literature Terminator.

Literature Terminator.

From the press release:

Blackwell, the UK’s leading academic bookseller, has unveiled the launch of the 2.0 Espresso Book Machine (EBM) at its flagship store, 100 Charing Cross London. It is the first bookshop installation of its kind within the UK, allowing any book to be selected from an inexhaustible network of titles and prints on demand in just 3 minutes from a digital file onsite, online at, or uploaded in person from CDs or flash drives.

This bad boy whips up a book in three minutes.   Go on to read more about the implications of such a device.

My take:  This is definitely a much more ecologically sustainable process than the standard model of book production, which is exciting.  It also completely removes the barrier of entry to producing a book, which, I’d argue, is a very ‘good’ thing; the more art the better.  It’s happening all around us; the availability of cheap means of production means that anyone with a computer and a camera can make a movie, anyone with a computer near this behemoth or can make a book, anyone with a computer and Garageband/Audible can make music, etc.  Distribution will be the sticking point in media for awhile, and it’s going to get messy.  I look forward to help making the mess.

What do you think?

EDIT: Also, a thin treatise on paperback vs. hardback after the jump…


Random & Technology / 16 Comments
April 16th, 2009 / 6:15 pm