Not Farewell, But Fare Forward
“The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change: that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.”
Isaac Asimov said that, and while Novel Copy never found any direct inspiration from Asimov, he provides solace and inspiration moving forward. Today marks the end of Novel Copy; this is its last post.
Our blog about the media could not help but consider the world as it will be. In fact, the future of communication media was its central preoccupation. From books and newspapers to the content cloud and smartphones, we’ve looked at where information is going and how it will get there. Out blog is now carried on most directly by Matthew Nibet’s Age of Engagement, and Parag and Ayesha Khanna’s Hybrid Reality. Both blogs are keen observers of that place where media and technology meet.
Since 2009, we have seen the Kindle rise from its early obscurity to threaten the existence of book publishers and agents. We’ve seen the fall of local newspapers and the debt of established ones skyrocket. We’ve seen startups and established publications struggle to create new business models; we’ve seen content placed behind paywalls. We’ve seen Google and Apple confirm their dominance—Google now attempts to determine government policy over Internet accessibility and Apple more than ever represents the future of computing. We’ve seen an Internet startup, WikiLeaks, challenge government in ways that no newspaper has. We’ve seen Islam promoted through the media as both demon and—something less than demon. In a case of original reporting, we’ve seen the U.N. Climate Change apparatus at work in Barcelona; the conference directly preceded the historic meeting in Copenhagen.
To end with a quotation that provides more inspiration on such occasions:
“Not farewell, but fare forward, voyagers.”
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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