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per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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oh no! e-books are equivalent to nazi book-burning! panic in the streets!
So, apparently, the Kindle and Googlebooks are harbingers of a new Holocaust.

Or maybe Alan Kaufman is just bringing the crazy.


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I understand his concerns, but still don't see how he got from point A to point WTF.

I agree.

"The Nazis were evil. Among other things, they burned books. Therefore, Google Books and Kindles are just as evil as the Nazis because they take the place of books."

IIRC, Nazis burned books so that people couldn't read them. E-books make it easier for MORE people to read them.

This guy needs a lesson in logical thinking. Or a swift smack upside the head.

How about a whack with the clue-hammer?

That was, well, stupid.

And it approached hysteria, too!

So, um...I'm kinda confused...o_O


..also, anyone who doesn't like his connection of this to the Holocaust is a Holocaust-denier...

Does that explain things better? ;-)

Are you a member of BSFA or WSFA?

You sound like the SF literary hardcores that don't consider anything outside of printed books to be "real SF". ;)

*sigh* I know the type...

Maybe they should get together with Mr. Kaufman, have a nice cup of decaf, and calm the **** down... ;-)

Did anyone check to see if his books are available on Kindle? ::grin::

Dear sir,

I am sorry you see everything in the world through the lens of the Nazis and the Holocaust. It seems like a very sad way to live. Doesn't have a damn thing to do with reality, though.

Careful, or he'll call you a Holocaust-denier. ;-)

I agree, his viewpoint is too extreme and reactionary--he's making strong links where there really are none, but one thing I cannot help but think of about all this is version control.

In a world of only electronic copies, one could change/modify the originals. Only people who had read the originals or could compare the electronic version with a genuine paper copy would be able to tell the difference. One assumes when people convert books for online/electronic use, they convert them honestly and completely. And I believe they do so. But what if they didn't. Yes, that is a paranoid thought, but I think it is worth thinking, at least a little.

For instance, there are people who watch the remastered versions of Star Wars and do not know that changes were made from the originally aired ones. This is a benign thing, but future generations will not know about the changes, will they, unless they are told by those of us who know. Now, given, in this case, it probably doesn't matter much in the grand scheme of things. But changes to other things could.

Again I don't agree with Kaufman's viewpoint, he seems to only be able to apply one filter to everything, but I would be deeply concerned if paper books ceased to be. Not that I think they will be--I think paper books fulfill visceral desire.

Hard copies get created by people who could edit future editions. And original manuscripts get edited before they hit hard copy. I'm not seeing how electronic books are any less safe.

And don't get me started on how "what else is new?" it would be if someone made editorial additions/deletions to "The" Bible.;)


A printing of a book only represents a snapshot of the book at the time it was printed. Changes may and do occur over printings and/or over time. For instance, the version of LoR I have has been edited to standerdize the spelling and usage, something Tolkien did not do in his original manuscript. That editing did change things, possibly even in some cases signficantly--not that I am sufficiently interested in LoR to track it or care, really.

You are right, books can be altered just as much as e-versions. Though to me it seems like the mutability of e-versions is easier, more immediate, could be less obvious (unless noted; at least with a book you can see when it was changed last, i.e., its print run/date, though that info can be obscured in books as in e-versions). Also e-versions are more easily accessible to more people, more rapidly, which can be good (info is free, harder to contain) or bad (mis-information can spread faster, wider, more damagingly).

I don't know. I am now tail-chasing in my head. ;) I just found it interesting to think/write about. :)

BTW I am v. amused about the whole Bible mutation thing. :)

I guess electronic copies are easier to mass produce, but I think we're all slowly getting more wikipedia-savvy, which helps mitigate the effect.

I guess the answer is the same as its always been...if you're going to get head-up about something you read, double check it against another source.

I see what you mean, it does start to eat its own tail after a while.

I would be deeply concerned if paper books ceased to be. Not that I think they will be--I think paper books fulfill visceral desire.

And it's going to be a long time before e-books can replicate illustrations as well as paper... and one of the most frustrating things with them is that it's much harder to flip back and forth in them... which is really important sometimes.

Besides, the book is still one of the most amazing bits of tech ever invented...

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