25 September 2007

A Tasty Display of Sausages

In no particular order —

  • One of the few items around here that you'll ever see with no snark: Congratulations to the 2007 MacArthur Fellows.
  • Turning to the publishing industry, Tess Gerritsen decries the unrealistic expectations of self/vanity published authors, which shouldn't surprise anyone. Statistically, a 14-year-old boy has a better chance of making a living above the poverty line by age 30 as a professional athlete in one of the four major sports in the US than he does writing book-length works. This just points out that the relationship between authors and agents will continue to be frustrating for everyone.
  • Yet another story trying to make "news" out of the relationship between the internet and book buzz. Here's a big hint to the publishing industry: You've been through this before. Twice, in the last century. You fouled it up both times then, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that you're fouling it up this time... just disappointed. You certainly haven't learned much about book pricing over the years.
  • Downloads in the news, both of NBC's TV shows and classical music. Wait a minute... that's not news any more than was the previous item!
  • There's some concern about language extinctions. (If only French, or at least "governmental French," would fall in that category... Maybe we can just hope for extinction of some EU "official languages"?) I wonder what fundamentalists will have to say about this potential "return to Babel"?
  • Language is also at issue in the looming WGA disputes. Two versions of the same story (one from Yahoo news, the other from Variety) reassure me that everything is normal in Hollyweeood: No one is really communicating.
  • Last, and far from least, some legal ethics news. The State of New York now holds that pretexting investigation tactics are unethical and that lawyers may not pursue them. Using deception to investigate deception is not something that makes a lot of sense in the context of anything that a civilian lawyer is likely to be doing.