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Nick Mamatas - December 9th, 2009 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Nick Mamatas

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December 9th, 2009

When Apple releases the iBund next year it'll be even better! [Dec. 9th, 2009|09:14 am]
Let me start by saying that I don't make a point of reading the Huffington Post; indeed, I make a point of not reading it. But enough people sent me this HuffPuff piece about the Kindle being the social and technological heir of Nazism that I actually did it.

Oh, and in the comments writer Alan Kaufman defended his "work" with the classic idiocy: you're interrogating it from the wrong perspective. He also declared that anyone mentioning the ol' Internet saw of Godwin's Law is a Holocaust denier. Oh, and just in case you think there is anything to Kaufman's claim that Kindle=Nazi is a "reductionist" reading of his post, please note this comment where he goes on to ask the rhetorical question: Today's hi-techers already dismiss the physical book as expendable. They do so with a sneer, for the most part, I've noticed. How soon before they do so with humans?

The low quality of this Shoah business is pretty obvious once you realize that HuffPuff gets their content for free from anyone who can string together a few sentences. And if the pool of labor includes someone who is essentially trying to build a career out of the misery of his parents, so much the better. Knowledge of the subject actually at hand—the Kindle, the discontents of technology, whatever—is hardly required. For one thing, there is nothing intrinsic to either the Kindle or to ebooks generally that would allow some central authority to delete books forever—that's at its base a licensing issue, not a technological one. It's also rather silly to suggest that Google Books, available to anyone with a web browser, is somehow an essential limitation on the distribution and preservation of work, while the necessarily limited print runs of physical books—which is what makes it possible for those books to be burned and thus erased from history—is not. Nor does Kaufman know the first thing of history, or of the difference between fiction and non-fiction:

In point of fact, what gave birth to the novelist were the notices of public execution that were posted in town squares where people crowded around to read the lurid details of the crime and the proposed method of execution.

This is the rarest sort of Internet comment—the one so ridiculous it not need be refuted by anything more than simply presenting it. There it is! Look at that dumbass!

Finally, where was this essay published again? Oh yes, a blog! Better screencap it now before the Nazis come!

Also, Kaufman obviously wrote his Wikipedia entry himself and didn't even try for a neutral POV. He's just an Internet abuser. Boy, I sure hope nobody flags that entry for deletion...
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I'd like to thanks the guys at Other Change of Hobbit... [Dec. 9th, 2009|04:33 pm]
for, though they still use handwritten receipts, writing out the name of the book I bought as Starry Wisdom 2 and not Songs of the Black Wurm Gism. I mean, that receipt has to go to an accountant in a few months!

Also, despite living in Berkeley for years (on and off) now I went to Jupiter for the first time with jsridler. There was a slice of potato in his coffee. Nothing was in my hot chocolate, though honestly whatever wasn't in there is now trying to get out.
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