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November 16, 2005

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Blogging a Book

Holy jeez, it’s like a perfect storm of things I am interested in: NYU media prof Mitch Stephens, whose book the rise of the image the fall of the word had a big influence on me, is going to write a new book about the history of atheism… and blog the process!

If a Nintendo Revolution was involved I would be all set.

Posted November 16, 2005 at 7:19 | Comments (3) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted


I read that book (or some of it), at the recommendation of Monica Moses at the Strib.

Did you find his case persuasive, Robin?

I remember thinking that he was a kind of pyrotechnic thinker and writer, but ultimately I left unconvinced.

Yeah, I thought the book suffered a bit because (almost by definition) Stephens couldn't actually describe the "new video" he was positing -- it was just a very abstract idea of a kind of video that was somehow denser, richer & better than what we have now.

And abstract or not, it's getting close to ten years since the book was published, and there's nothing on TV or the internet that really resembles that.

BUT, I am reminded of that cliche about future technology: It always takes longer than we think it will to get here, but then it changes our lives even more than we thought it would -- and in ways we never imagined.

And on that last point, the main thing is that I think things are going to be much less linear and stovepiped than Stephens laid out. It won't be that video as we think of it today blooms while print stagnates. Rather, it will be that everything mixes and merges -- and that's how we'll get the denseness and the richness. Video game-esque stuff will be in there too -- and good old text, plenty of it.

That's what I think, anyway.

Also re: that book -- best ever intro & ending chapters. Everybody should read those regardless of how valid any of his arguments are; they're just really great pieces of prose.

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