User:Laurier Rochon/notes/theunboundbook notes
THE UNBOUND BOOK - MAY 20th 2011
- before reading the book > reading/literacy as a craft
- the e-book is more than just a representation of text in a new medium
- the battle of books, the battle of the book business
- last comments are from : JOOST KIRCZ
SESSION 1 : what is a book?
- book as a mediator/vehicle : author -> text -> book -> reader -> receiver
- public readings > no text or book. the reader takes on the author's voice
- film : Farenheit 451
- e-book publishing - how do you compete with a publisher like Apple?
- e-books are more ecologicaly friendly (Google uses lots of energy) (this is cutting corners...)
- having research about tech takes time. making laws takes time. therefore, the legislative aspect will never catch up to the blazing speed of evolution.
- "the digital revolution is not headed towards where we were told it was heading" (where is this? isn't this what we want?). the speaker gave no more details on this claim...
- "no one is interested in hearing the effects of this revolution" (the digital revolution)
- "digital immigrants are more proficient in performing a search than their kids, the digital natives" (???)
- Nicholas Carr : pulling quotes way out of context
- Which proprety of physical books should be kept in thinking of digital books? (question from the panel)
- Answer : "Multimedia should dissapear / The editing of books should not be allowed : fixity"
- "Paper is durable, cheap, etc."
- Irreplacable properties : books are extensions of our memory. Apparently this is not feasible by digital books or computerized forms.
- "Smell, taste, form, etc."
Alan Liu : This is not a book
- "The end of the end of the book" Essay
- Collex / Open Journal Systems / PReE
- books are not books - they always need to be compared?
- books and e-books - 'long, permanent forms of attention, permanent standard, authoritative'
- mbooks - media books - created and understood as media, not as a book
- "Books and scrolls : navigating the bible" Essay
- The bible was very hypertextual, irregular, non-linear and interactive (for any service, need bookmarks to move to different places to go from a reading to another)
- "When was linearity?" Essay
- digital book = metaphor for physical book - physical book is a metaphor for a book
- "Strange rain" iPad app
- what's important : not the future of books, but the future of long form attentions
- to do so, new methodological methods - some kind of telescope to look into the past & future
- "network archeology" / "media archeology"
- SNAC (social networks and archival contexts)
- RoSE - A research-oriented social environment
- "Agrippa" William Gibson (1992)
- The book is not a book (physical, e-book, m-book, etc.), it's the long form of attention. This is usually collective and plays over time.
- the debate around authority and credibility is moving into 'context' - if the context is clear, then things can be understood in relation to that context. (by extension, they are also, I think, moving into the domain of reputation)
Miha Kovac, University of Ljubljana - What is a book?
- background : moving from a socialist structure for his publishing house into a market oriented structure
- a book is a technology - organize and store complex textual/visual info
- main historical embodiments : scroll, codex and digital file
- printed books - the physicality affects the size of the book : too thin and too thick are not printed - limitation.
- printed texts are easier to preserve (???) - he is talking about the form, not the content...
- 'the cloud' - data centers are more secure, decentralized and numerous (soon) than libraries and bookstores - in a fingersnap, I can duplicate a book 10, 100, 1M times.
- having your physical book is part of your identity, it has a physical presence
- the storing of book content changes the way we think...pbook vs ebook
- what properties should be kept when making e-books? : linear reading / books professions / fixity and preservability.
SESSION II : the unbinding of the book
- unbound vs boundless (large difference here, he stresses)
- http://www.aaaaarg.org vs kindle
- e-books are very linear - developing apps for books is very hard to keep up to date technically
- the book has become much more stable because of the web, through the web - ex : the phonebook. At least as an object (as I understand it...I would agree on this).
- print books are slowly becoming objects of decoration - because of their physical attributes, not the content
- big disconnect between the embodiment and the content. e-books are becoming (or have become) the cheap paperbacks from before. The ones we would feel comfortable writing in, lending to others and carrying around in our bags, since they are 'cheap'.
- Cramer fears that books are becoming table decorations for the elite, as their prices are rising and they inspire nostalgia from a past age, while digital books are mass (re)produced online.
Gary Hall - coventry university
- Liquid, living books
- A writer writes texts, not books (spot on. see existential questions below)
- what are the options for the authors vs publishers
- 'perhaps we need to unbind modernity' and think differently
Bernhard Rieder - University van Amsterdam (coming from a comp. sci. perspective)
- The book as data object (the text rather?)
- what kind or arrangement for discovering and reading?
- what is the 'computational potential' of millions of books?
- exploring full-text metadata / connecting by means of data / capturing and inferring from user practices
- books become information (in 451 people become books - so people become information?)
- the algorithms are very predictable (recommendation)
- these databases have institutional effects (yes! of course the recommendations will have the same effect as the long-standing tradition of literary canons in pre-digital ages)
- translation : having large statistical pools of data VS decyphering the underlying structure (meaning - i.e. Chomsky)
- books : random-access media - user-driven media (the users are in control of the media)
missing speaker's name...
- a book as a place (people can congregate and read together)
- socialbook - all in the browser - social reading (with comments)
- engage with authors in real-time or asynchronously 'in the book'
Anne Mangen, Ph. D. - University of Stavanger
- Title : "why bother with print?"
- the role of the hands - fingers,etc. in reading
- ergonomical affordances : books <> e-books <> computer
- "people who read linear text comprehend more, remember more, and learn more than those who read hypertext"
- multilinearity/hypertexts /education/ - where do video games come in? wii/kinect/joysticks & layout-wise much more complex than books
- books - good spatial representation / games -> people can move characters in pixel-perfect positions for years
- "sense the progress in your hands" - "human hand-eye coordination can be taken into consideration in optimal ways"
- omitting large amounts of important information...
Ray Siemens INKE http://www.hci-book.org
- Electronic Textual Cultures Lab - University of Victoria
- imiatating the book is doomed to fail - they have to reference the full system in which they live, not just the 'page'.
- reading is a device-specific activity - a whole system feeds into the 'hardware' we have in front of us
Robert Max Steenkist - the book in Later America
- one of the major problems seems to be about trying to mimick books - we are not even close. We must think of this as its own media.
- I am doubting more and more of the idea of a "fixed" book, or linear reading as even possible. As soon as any navigation system is developed for a "book", it becomes a flurry of parts "bound" together by some ordering mechanism. (here could be interesting to look at the surrealist's exquisite corpse)
- What is a book (more precisely, a codex?)? (I align with Liu here - an imitation of the conceptual, metaphorical idea of the 'book'. i.e. long forms of attention?)
- What is a text? (perhaps the disembodied/unbound version of the "book". see Aarseth here...)
- What is a digital text then? An e-text? In the light of the 2 previous questions, it seems like a text and an e-text are not different at all. Once again, 'text' has a common connotation that includes form, which might be misleading. Text = e-text = book. Furthermore, if texts become information when digitized (as they are part of a large arrangement of other texts and (con)texts), could a person who has become a book (by virtue of knowing it so well - Fahrenheit 451), therefore become information? Person -> Book -> Information, therefore Person -> Information. (very hypothetical)
- Offshoot question : coming back to the form - how do we embody these texts/books/long forms of attention? How/why does it matter that these things live inside data storage warehouses or physical sheets of cardboard (and everywhere in between)? (see Murray here). Storage and fragmentation becomes relevant here. Could the physical codex be simply a form of storage? Yes (I would argue).
- Offshoot question 2 : why does these 'long forms of attention' matter? why are these relevant to the reader?
- Going back to Aarseth - cybertext is not a new form of text - it is a perspective on all forms of textuality, a way to expand the field of textuality.
- According to him, a text lives between a triad : the medium (embodiment), the operator (human) and the verbal signs produced (meaning). Furthermore, a cybertext contains a feedback loop. (in the last of the last observations, this would also be a navigational feature?)
- clearly there is an ideological and mental separation in people's minds when it comes to medium and content (or platform). I think this is very much an issue of 'storage', or 'display'.
- at the same time, it is true that the physical properties have all to do with communicating/reinforcing a certain message.
- having cybertexts is all about providing context. less of the 'operator' and more of the medium and the verbal signs.
- what is the difference between archiving, storing and embodying. memory can act as each one of these agents perhaps?
- what measures do we take to archive/preserve/back up/remember/conserve knowledge?