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John Holbo - Editor
Scott Eric Kaufman - Editor
Aaron Bady
Adam Roberts
Amardeep Singh
Andrew Seal
Bill Benzon
Daniel Green
Jonathan Goodwin
Joseph Kugelmass
Lawrence LaRiviere White
Marc Bousquet
Matt Greenfield
Miriam Burstein
Ray Davis
Rohan Maitzen
Sean McCann
Guest Authors

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Miriam Jones

Past Valve Book Events

cover of the book Theory's Empire

Event Archive

cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

Event Archive

cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

Event Archive

cover of the book How Novels Think

Event Archive

cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

Event Archive

cover of the book What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?

Event Archive

cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

Event Archive

The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Happy Trails to You

What’s an Encyclopedia These Days?

Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Intimate Enemies: What’s Opera, Doc?

Alphonso Lingis talks of various things, cameras and photos among them

Feynmann, John von Neumann, and Mental Models

Support Michael Sporn’s Film about Edgar Allen Poe

Philosophy, Ontics or Toothpaste for the Mind

Nazi Rules for Regulating Funk ‘n Freedom

The Early History of Modern Computing: A Brief Chronology

Computing Encounters Being, an Addendum

On the Origin of Objects (towards a philosophy of computation)

Symposium on Graeber’s Debt

The Nightmare of Digital Film Preservation

Richard Petti on Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

Bill Benzon on Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

Nick J. on The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Bill Benzon on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Norma on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Bill Benzon on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

john balwit on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on That Shakespeare Thing

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

JoseAngel on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Bill Benzon on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on Objects and Graeber's Debt

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Bob Stein’s ‘unified field theory of publishing in the networked era’

Posted by John Holbo on 09/15/08 at 02:56 AM

Interesting post at if:book. Some discussion of the possibilities (you - being a new media-savvy blog reader - could probably fill in many of details yourself off the cuff). Then this thought:

Hmmm. On the surface that sounds a lot like a Wikipedia article, in the sense that it’s always in process and consideration of the the back and forth is crucial to making sense of the whole. However it’s also different, because a defining aspect of the Wikipedia is that once an article is started, there is no special, ongoing role accorded to the the person who initiated it or tends it over time. And that’s definitely not what I’m talking about here. Locating discourse in a dynamic network doesn’t erase the distinction between authors and readers, but it significantly flattens the traditional perceived hierarchy.

More like a blog, then. The author posts. Others comment. Yes, but blogs are more of the ‘new thing every day’ model.

All this stuff interests me enormously because I have such a strong sense that academic publishing is so much worse than it could be. Structurally. But it’s very hard to change. I’ve talk about all that before. I’ve been unable to spend as much time thinking and doing stuff about all this as I would like, lo this past year. (Hell, I hardly have time for blogging these days.) But I’ll just mention one thing. Academics are perfectly accustomed to the flattening of traditional hierarchy of which Bob speaks: it’s called a ‘conference’. It’s funny that academics could be creatures who regard books and articles as things that make sense, and conferences as events that are valuable enough that people should fly to them from all points around the globe. Still: it would be mad - mad! I tell you! - to thoroughly standardize the production of hybrid products (sort of like a book, sort of like a conference.)

Obviously we here at the Valve wisely stage these books events. Good on us. We should find time to do more of that.


Comments

If what’s being monetized in your vision is the discussion surrounding the text, how does this affect the publishers relationship to other discussions around the text?

By Tradional Toys on 10/01/09 at 08:27 AM | Permanent link to this comment

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