The truth is, griping can be fun, and as rapidly ageing gentlemen, seasoned observers of the human comedy, wise gray heads who have seen it all and are surprised by nothing, I feel it is our duty to gripe and scold, to attack the hypocrisies, injustices, and stupidities of the world we live in. Let the young roll their eyes when we speak. Let the not so young ignore what we say. We must carry on with utmost vigilance, scorned prophets crying into the wilderness - for just because we know we are fighting a losing battle, that doesn’t mean we should abandon the fight.
— From a letter written by Paul Auster, part of a published exchange between Auster and writer/friend J.M. Coetzee, Here and Now (2013)
I am dismayed at the prospect of the library of the future. I am sure that feeling is shared by many. But, aside from sentiment, what can justify such dismay? A hunger for the real in a world of shadows? Books are not real, not in any important sense. The very letters on the page are signs, images of sounds, which are images of ideas. The fact that what we call a book can be picked up in one’s hands, has a smell and a feel of its own, is an accident of its production with no relevance to what the book conveys
— From a letter written by J.M. Coetzee, part of a published exchange between Coetzee and writer/friend Paul Auster, Here and Now (2013)
For this is the truth that we are now facing. For all of its democratizing power, the Internet, in its current form, has simply replaced the old boss with a new boss. And these new bosses have market power that, in time, will be vastly larger than that of the old boss.
— Interesting post (and comments) by venture capitalist Fred Wilson, Platform Monopolies, via AVC
Technology is not destiny
— From The Second Machine Age by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, both from MIT. Often when I read books about technology and business I feel uncomfortable with the sense of inevitability conveyed. This book is an optimistic one but does recognise the complexity of the issues it examines.
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, by Tom Rachman (a novel by the author of The Imperfectionists)
The Rise and Fall of Australia, by Nick Bryant (not a novel)
On Writing, by Stephen King
Reading My Father, by Alexandra Styron
We strongly encourage the FCC to protect a free and open Internet, and establish rules that allow companies to succeed or fail based on the merits of their products, not the depths of their pockets. An open Internet promotes innovation by giving every company the same opportunity to succeed, regardless of its size, and allows new ideas to spread, regardless of their source.
— from Etsy’s submission in response to the FCC’s call for comment on its proposed open internet rules