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Guest Thinkers

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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