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Oxford England

  • The End of the Road
    These photos are separated from my Travels album because Oxford is something of a second home. I still manage to visit it several times a year. So the pathway between Manotick and Oxford is well trodden and I can likely do it with my eyes closed - and probably have on more than one occasion.

Royal Roads University

  • Hatley Castle
    This series of photographs was taken over the last few years. I have stayed at the campus of Royal Roads on several occasions and I have been repeatedly impressed by the grounds. They are in many ways a little-known treasure.

Travels

  • Kafka Statue
    Here is a selection of pictures I have taken during my travels over the last few years. I am very obviously an amateur photographer and it is not uncommon for me to forget my camera altogether when packing. What the pictures do not convey is the fact that in these travels I have met, and gotten to know, a great many interesting people.

Manotick Ontario

  • Springtime in Manotick
    Manotick Ontario Canada is the part of Ottawa that I call home. Much of Manotick stands on an island in the Rideau River. Interestingly, the Rideau Canal, which runs through and around the river, was recently designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. So this means that the view from my backyard is in some way on a similar par with the Egyptian Pyramids - although the thought strikes me as ridiculous.
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« Book Review: The Content Pool by Alan J. Porter | Main | The Accidental Content Strategist »

August 18, 2012

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Marcia Riefer Johnston

Thought-provoking as always, Joe. Wonderful photos. I like your phrase "bargain bin of history." As a book lover--and an author about to come out with my own book in both print and ebook formats--I find this topic especially compelling. Whatever form tomorrow's books may take, long may they live!

Marcia

Joe Gollner

Hi Marcia

Yes, the "bargain bin of history" does have a nice ring to it. I imagine that is where I will wind up someday.

And yes, I too would wish books well regardless of the physical form that they may take. So perhaps in addition to wishing them long life we can also wish them safe travels...

Joe

Mary Davidson

Hi Joe,
Re; The fate of Books. It struck me that as history would have it To wipe out a philosophy, culture or religion, the burning or ban of books was always a good way to do it. Now we are in the electronic age hiding the literature would be harder as it would be in many vaults, of a different nature.
Chow,
Aunt Mary

Joe Gollner

Hi Mary and good to bump into you online

As is often the case, technological change can cut both ways - both giving something and taking something away. In the case of electronic books, the ability for materials to move around the world in an instant - circumventing physical boundaries and finding hiding places on hard drives and smart phones - definitely gives us a number of things. However technology can now be used to limit where content can travel and to monitor who accesses it and when. In these ways books in a digital world may be less portable and accessible than before, which is sort of ironic.

Take for example buying a book. If I do it at a used book stall and I pay with cash, no one will ever no that I have purchased this book or that I read it the following day. With an electronic book, it is a matter of digital record that I purchased a book, or checked it out of an online library, and the record would continue with exactly when I purchased it, what device I was using at the time, where I was at the time and so on. And as I am reading the book, my eReader can be collecting information and dispatching it for analysis and it could track how I am reading the book, what parts I am rereading, and where I have added bookmarks and notes (and what those notes say). So if I was somewhere in the world where what I was reading was prohibited it is more than theoretically possible for there to be suddenly a knock at the door, and this time its a real knock on a real door.

And by a similar token, it is far from impossible for deletion instructions, or corruption routines, to be unleashed that attack electronic books with specific content. When Amazon decided to take away an electronic book from all customers, the public was awoken to the fact that this sort of thing was possible, albeit in this case within a specific "marketplace" (being Amazon).

But with all that said and done, I do ultimately side with you in being hopeful that in the electronic domain we will find better ways to thwart those who want to seek and destroy books and what they represent and facilitate.

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