Tag Archives: revolution

Real-time stats revolutionized journalism – what will they do to books?

It takes the average reader just seven hours to read the final book in Suzanne Collins’s “Hunger Games” trilogy on the Kobo e-reader—about 57 pages an hour. Nearly 18,000 Kindle readers have highlighted the same line from the second book in the series: “Because sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them.” And on Barnes & Noble’s Nook, the first thing that most readers do upon finishing the first “Hunger Games” book is to download the next one.

In the past, publishers and authors had no way of knowing what happens when a reader sits down with a book. Does the reader quit after three pages, or finish it in a single sitting? Do most readers skip over the introduction, or read it closely, underlining passages and scrawling notes in the margins? Now, e-books are providing a glimpse into the story behind the sales figures, revealing not only how many people buy particular books, but how intensely they read them.

For centuries, reading has largely been a solitary and private act, an intimate exchange between the reader and the words on the page. But the rise of digital books has prompted a profound shift in the way we read, transforming the activity into something measurable and quasi-public.

 

The full storyYour E-Book Is Reading You

Continue reading

Analysis of Egypt’s election – Mohammed Morsi won, but is not in charge

They sent customary congratulations from round the world – the Iranians and the Emiratis, the US, the British and Hamas.

Even Israel said it “respected the outcome”. William Hague, the foreign secretary, was almost effusive.

“I congratulate the Egyptian people for their commitment to the democratic process,” he said.

The US called on the government to be a “pillar of regional peace”.

It was as if the Muslim Brotherhood were just any other party, Mohammed Morsi just another politician, and Egypt any other democratic country.
It is not, of course. For one thing, nobody really knows now who is in power. Mr Morsi, just about everyone agrees, is not. He is answerable to two men: Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and defence minister; and Mohammed Badie, the Murshid or Guide of the Brotherhood, to whom he also owes obedience.

It is easy to see why the liberal activists who started last year’s revolution against Hosni Mubarak feel betrayed….

 

Keep readingEgypt analysis: Mohammed Morsi may have won, but he is not in charge

Continue reading

An angry math blog sparked a scientific revolution

It began with a frustrated blogpost by a distinguished mathematician. Tim Gowers and his colleagues had been grumbling among themselves for several years about the rising costs of academic journals.

They, like many other academics, were upset that the work produced by their peers, and funded largely by taxpayers, sat behind the paywalls of private publishing houses that charged UK universities hundreds of millions of pounds a year for the privilege of access.

So, in January this year, Gowers wrote an article on his blog declaring that he would henceforth decline to submit to or review papers for any academic journal published by Elsevier, the largest publisher of scientific journals in the world.

He was not expecting what happened next. Thousands of people read the post and hundreds left supportive comments. Within a day, one of his readers had set up a website, The Cost of Knowledge, which allowed academics to register their protest against Elsevier.

The site now has almost 9,000 signatories, all of whom have committed themselves to refuse to either peer review, submit to or undertake editorial work for Elsevier journals. “I wasn’t expecting it to make such a splash,” says Gowers. “At first I was taken aback by how quickly this thing blew up.”

keep readingAcademic spring: how an angry maths blog sparked a scientific revolution

You know you're a dictator when…you own the golden gun (Libya's Gaddafi) (photo)

The story on this photo is that the rebel groups were searching for Libya’s ex-leader Muammar Gaddafi. They found him alive in a sewer (photo below) and he immediately said “don’t shoot.”

Ten minutes later Al-Jazeera is broadcasting an image of him beaten, bloody, and dead. After which celebrations reverberated throughout the city with this young man leading them, golden gun in hand.

Continue reading

You know you’re a dictator when…you own the golden gun (Libya’s Gaddafi) (photo)

The story on this photo is that the rebel groups were searching for Libya’s ex-leader Muammar Gaddafi. They found him alive in a sewer (photo below) and he immediately said “don’t shoot.”

Ten minutes later Al-Jazeera is broadcasting an image of him beaten, bloody, and dead. After which celebrations reverberated throughout the city with this young man leading them, golden gun in hand.

Continue reading

Farmers markets grow 250% since 2000

I’m all about farmers markets. Every dollar I spend on food goes there and they provide me with everything I need to eat and more (dessert!).

The reason for all this is covered in several previous posts, including: Why nobody knows how to prevent obesity & How food coma overcomes exercising.

A quick recap is that by eating at farmers markets you gain superior health and weight loss, prevent global warming, and save money.

For the longest time, I wondered why nobody else understood this. It turns out that since 2000, many, many more people are starting to agree with me.

Check out the graph provided by the USDA in their annual farmers market audit:

Notice that since the recession, the so-called “expensive” markets are surging with 164% growth since 2006. If this trend continues we may finally be able to impact our food system.

I can already see it happening in the supermarkets where the words “farmer”, “market”, and “local” are everywhere. Too bad they are only marketing terms.

So next chance you have, stop by a farmers market for the real thing. Pick out some fruits and vegetables. Come back the same time next week and keep the farmers market revolution going!