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Hi Jeff, Thanks for sharing that. As a father of a 5 year old and a lucky husband of a wife with cancer in remission, this really hits home. I was reminded of a TED talk by a French Buddhist monk who was talking about the two great philosophies in humanity. The Buddhist philosophy which was about inner peacefullness and consistent happiness and the French existentialism which was about embracing (and accentuating) passionately the highs and lows in life. I'm not sure if there's a right way.
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2012 on Somebody is to Blame for This at Coding Horror
@Tony Hursh: I think there's a balance between the bland and sterile world of pure digital work (further blanded down by the complexity of reading device layouts) and the master artisan slaving over a single perfect representation of yore. I see a spectrum of offerings for a package of ideas: from a "quick and dirty" wiki entry, to a series of more thoughtful blog essays, to a presented and edited eBook, through hardcover bound books and up to semi-handcrafted artistic reprints. In this case, the medium chosen is chosen by the weight that the consumer puts on the ideas contained and the care that the author, editor and illustrator puts into their presentation. As a prime example, look at the difference between Joel Spolsky's early (and free) blog entries and his (not free) book compiling them. That difference matters and will continue to matter in the future I argue.
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2012 on Books: Bits vs. Atoms at Coding Horror
eBooks and print books don't satisfy the same human need. It's not just about consuming the ideas in the most efficient way possible. It's also about the experience of reading as much as the ideas inside. For the reader who wants to appreciate the sensual experience of reading the words, the various book types (from paperback to hardcover to illustrated works of art) offer that experience in a way they can afford that no eReader or eBook could ever. The feel of the paper, the weight of the illustrations, the smell of the ink, the display on the bookcase (they *ARE* trophies after all), all have an effect on the reader's journey through the book in a way that no sterile hyperlink-illuminated dot could ever convey. Much like a digital comic could never compete with the mint condition comic book encased in plastic and lovingly preserved. Granted, not all books need to be as important as the classics nor does all information need to be linear and static. For those books, the eBook digital format is most appropriate. But the great works of our times (from The Bible to Code Complete) deserve to be presented as complete and coherent works of art, not just as raw data with hyperlinked annotations. In fact...there's probably a good business model in taking Gutenberg books, formatting them brilliantly, illustrating them, binding them with quality paper and selling them for $100 a copy.
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2012 on Books: Bits vs. Atoms at Coding Horror
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Jan 5, 2011