Michael H Goldhaber on Thu, 16 Aug 2007 10:30:41 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The banality of blogging


It is not inherent to the technology of the printed book that each  
book have only one author. (The Bible certainly doesn't. ) rather  
this technology turned out to allow for single-author texts, and that  
is what the reading public turned out to find most satisfactory (for  
books that are read through form cover to cover, as opposed to  
compendia of all sorts , such as dictionaries, almanacs, anthologies,  
etc.). This is because it is easier to align with one mind at a time  
than a multitude.

Also, probably Gutenberg did not need to do market research to  
realize that the Bible would be much in demand. Pri0r to printing,  
others had produced translations of the Bible into "vulgar tongues,"  
and these were much sought after. Even if Gutenberg was ignorant of  
that fact, he would have known that most who could read were clerics  
or nobles who might well welcome their own Bible. Hand-copied bibles  
were in demand at the time. other printers soon were cranking out  
editions, and still are, in enormous numbers.

It is far too soon to say what will come of blogs, whose process of  
production and of reading is certainly novel and  may lead to an  
enduring new form, or quite possibly many. It would be distressing if  
most blogs were not banal, however, just as most books and movies,  
etc., are. Banality is in the eye of the beholder, but if one  
considered all blogs worth reading one would go mad. It's possible,  
though, that blogs will be mostly replaced by video logs, which would  
have a character of their own.


On Aug 15, 2007, at 6:26 AM, Felix Stalder wrote:

> Benjamin Geer wrote:
>> But as far as I know, nobody has suggested that texts published using
>> printing presses are inherently... anything. The first books printed were
>> Bibles, not because printing presses inherently lend themselves to printing
>> Bibles above all else, but because that was what a lot of people wanted to
>> read.
> This is wrong. Twice. There are a lot of things that are inherent to texts

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