Academic Ebook Conversion Sucks

No, really.  It does.  Ain’t no other way to say it.

Part of this, as seen in this lovely little Gruniad article, is because ebooks are essentially different editions of the same book.  Just as paperback books don’t follow hardback pagination, ebooks, being their own strange format, won’t follow any print pagination. Continue reading

More Things I Learned at the Press:

Thanks to my internship, I learned:

—The Gregorian Calendar, not carbon dioxide, is responsible for global warming.
I can’t make this stuff up.

—The most accurate calendar is the 360-day Prophetic calendar, based on the Bible.
Note: the Bible never mentions 360-day calendars.  Ever.

—People who are 30 or 40 years old shouldn’t be talking to our kids.
You know, like their parents.

—Drugs, entertainment, and athletics are the three things destroying the youth of America.
Obesity and boredom are just fine, though.

—The Press will almost let you get away with using the French revolutionary date on rejection letters.
I still say 30 Pluviôse CCXX would be the second most awesome date I’ve ever seen on a letter.

—The Bigbossman gets much stranger inquiries than Bossman does.
I think it’s because Bossman only sees stuff from people smart enough to know what “Acquisitions Editor” means.

Modal Realism: Well, Other Than *That,* David Lewis Was Right!

And now, the very technical and insane follow up to the last post.

WARNING: What follows will blow your mind.  Yes, there are philosophers who believe these things.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’m one of them.  To put it simply, if you’re standing in a circle with other metaphysicians confessing to your strangest philosophical commitment, this is stranger than thinking tables and/or people don’t exist.*

Really.

Brace yourselves.

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Storytelling and Reality: Telling Lies Truly

I think I’ve mentioned two works of fiction on this blog so far more prominently than any others: David Foster Wallace’s The Broom of the System, and Tim O’Brian’s The Things They Carried.  Both deal with an odd notion that philosophers have been playing with for the last few decades—how is it that things that don’t exist in the ordinary sense can nevertheless be true?

“Everyone knows” what a unicorn is.  It’s a horse-like being with a horn.  Easy enough, right?  Okay, so pick the unicorns:

One of these things is not like the others . . .

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The Things They Carried

It’s a long story involving a hated high school English teacher and my first published piece in a newspaper, but, after ten years, I finally got around to reading Tim O’Brian’s The Things They Carried.

Highly recommended to all, which I expected—but not for the reasons I expected.  Yes, it’s a great set of war stories, but an even greater set of meditations on storytelling.  As he realizes, through stories, the absent become present, and fictions become real.

Go find it.  You won’t regret it.

Print Ain’t Dead Yet

Fine, yes, I know, everyone in publishing is obsessed with this whole e-book thing.  Lots are even saying it’s going to doom the industry (yeah right).  Heck, I had a few profs (who, granted, still use WordPerfect because their typewriters got taken away) who thought e-books were another sign of the decline of Western civilization.

Okay, it’s none of the above.  If publishers just did the work of putting ink on paper, perhaps—but most things publishing houses do happens long before a drop of ink finds the paper.  However, there are a few reasons why the printed book is here to stay.
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