Monday, June 23, 2008

Twelve publisher Jonathan Karp has an essay in the Sunday Washington Post on the state of publishing. He remarks on "the relentless, indiscriminate proliferation" of commercial "ephemera" on the bookshelves" and freely admits "I too have sinned. In weaker moments, I've been seduced by tales of celebrity, money, gossip and scandal." He notes: "Most authors want their work to be accessible to a typical educated reader, so the question really isn't whether the work is highbrow or lowbrow or appeals to the masses or the elites; the question is whether the book is expedient or built to last. Are we going for the quick score or enduring value? Too often, we (publishers and authors) are driven by the same concerns as any commercial enterprise: We are manufacturing products for the moment. Karp On Publishing

Cold War Games Turning the Page on The Disposable Olympic Games
Perhaps the most revealing example of the role international politics has played in the Olympics was illustrated by the Games rivalry between the great ideologies of the twentieth century, capitalism and communism.

The Olympic Games, it is said, represent ‘ideals of humanity's highest callings—a universal quest for peace, moral integrity, and an exalted mix of mind, body, and spirit that transcends culture’. Tension still exists between the PRC and Taiwan and this resurfaced in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008 in relation to the Olympic torch relay. After various attempts at compromise by both nations to allow the torch to travel through the city of Taipei, the Taiwanese withdrew permission for the Olympic torch to pass through their territory. There is speculation, however, that tensions between the PRC and Taiwan will ease following the election of Guomindang leader, Ma Ying-jeou, in March 2008.

The Olympic Games ; [We should also not forget the role of China in the debacle that is Zimbabwe Zimbabwe and China: a toxic legacy; The right to free speech does not come cheap. For too many journalists it is costing them their life. Journalists under threat]
• · A TECHNOLOGICAL breakthrough by University of Sydney scientists could lead to people downloading the latest movie in a few seconds or chatting with small, cheap, video systems. Chip may speed up internet 100 times; The social webs of friends, like the strings of a child’s hand game, are slackening. We are becoming more isolated, more alone and more lonely. How many patterns of life were based on kindred misconceptions, how many wolves do we feel on our heels, while our real enemies go in sheepskin by? Why we ostracise - the failing Cat’s Cradle