Posts tagged: Facebook

Welcome Kindle, goodbye Facebook

By , 20 May 2010 8:29 pm

I suppose I have come to terms with both arrivals and departures in technology this week. In case you hadn’t noticed, the first volume of the Lamb among the Stars series is available free on Kindle for another week and has done very well. It is currently hovering around ten in the charts and if you haven’t downloaded it, please do. If you’re British you will be asked to pay VAT. How you pay VAT on an invisible object is somewhat beyond me but never mind. Actually not only do I not have a Kindle but I’ve never actually seen one; people apparently do import them over to the UK but they have not been officially released here yet. Rumour has it a European version of the Kindle reader will be released sometime in the autumn but at the moment I don’t really have a feel for how it will work. Anyway I have tried the book both on my iPhone and on the PC and it looks very fine indeed. I have to say that if we could put all of our books on something like a Kindle we would probably have the equivalent of an extra spare room. But I suspect the hundred terabyte Kindle is someway away and I like the tactile feel of books.

I realise that it’s over 10 years ago that someone first started to talk with me about electronic books but it now seems as if they are reality. One interesting implication that I have found mentioned on the web is whether or not we ought to write now primarily for e-publishing. The idea is that as you write you should add – presumably in some form of hypertext – references, quotation sources and possible expanded sections. Producing this sort of thing has vaguely crossed my mind as I am starting working through a new book, but I’m going to duck it just at the moment. I’ve no doubt though, that someone somewhere is preparing a work of fiction that will be first and foremost an e-book and only secondarily a paper book.

And I have also decided to say goodbye to Facebook. It’s a combination of things. I rarely use it, there are growing security concerns about it and the bizarre artificiality of having people as ‘friends’ who you have never met has increasingly irritated me as my ‘friends’ have got more numerous. It has also been pointed out that for a teacher to allow students to become his ‘friends’ is to risk reducing that already perilously narrow gulf between learner and teacher. So if you suddenly don’t find me on Facebook, don’t worry, it’s nothing personal. Anyway you can always with get me through my website. [One downside I have just found is that all my comments on the Lamb Among The Stars Facebook page have been removed. Oh dear!]

It strikes me that this complicated process of accepting and rejecting is something that we ought to continuously do with all these gifts that technology bestows upon us. The fact is as I labour on with the new book I occasionally wonder whether I wouldn’t be much better off without the Internet at all. In fact sometimes I wonder whether a pad of paper and a good fountain pen is all you really need.

Have a good week

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