Tag Archives: digitization

Brave New World of Publishng

I grew up amid two publishing families. Roger Straus (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) and Alfred and Blanche Knopf. They were both family cousins and close friends of my paternal grandparents. In the fifties, the publishing world had two entities, vanity publishers (Vantage Press et al.) and the traditional publishing houses. The traditional publishers enjoyed their reader’s brand respect. Today, in this Amazon-driven maelstrom of buying, publishing, and distribution options, most publishers have lost any cohesive brand equity. By “brand equity”, I simply mean value recognition – whether a publisher’s name evokes any specific quality or characteristic in the consumer’s mind. If I say, “Harper Collins,” does anything come to mind? Does anyone go into a bookstore and ask, “What’s new …
Continue reading

Posted in Arts and Humanities, Media / Press | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Progress and Change

I’m having breakfast with a friend who has just returned from yet another country where he routinely explains to presidents and kings how to establish functioning telecommunications networks, or to telecommunication company presidents how to maintain customers with practical value rather than with a leg-hold trap. We had one of our meal-bridging conversations about progress and largely agreed that progress is pretty much limited to technology and scientific discovery.  Progress becomes a questionable value judgment when applied to societies, economies, environments and cultures. The right term in those realms is change. What effusive gurus market to us as progress is usually little more than change. Over time, we judge changes as beneficial or deleterious. Preventing Alzheimer’s disease might be progress, …
Continue reading

Posted in Elegies, Social Culture | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment