Today in Lusaka, I was sharing a ride with a literature historian.
We were talking about writing quality and how the publishing industry changed the way we read. Today, books must catch the readers attention in the first chapter or are condemned to be shelved.
During the short interaction, I came up with the idea that I remember during the first season of the TV series Californication, novelist Hank Moody was complaining about writing was changing from books to blogs (it was the era of social 1.0) and how writing quality was decreasing in favor of easy writing, as well as, the lack of depth, what Thierry de Baillon, refers to the lack of sensitivity humans are experiencing in reading come collapsed or compressed text. This is not occurs only in book writing, it also become a pattern in journalism, which journalist echoes what others say, without challenging, questioning or even being able to tell a story. In advisory and research services this is also true like the twitter feed as follows. A company announces a new feature and immediately this becomes a fact without proper verification, suffering from the maven dysfunction like it happen when a new consumer product is rumored or is launched. Fortunately, in the activity stream bellow, the players are all non-believers.
The historian did not concur with my point of view, leveraged on the allusion of the TV series and on her point of view, what was important is the information explosion and ease of access, that allowed people to read and be exposed to new ideas, connect with others and expand the knowledge. She also pointed out, that without social media, hyper connectivity, combined with mobile, self writing agents, would never had a chance to publish a book, because classic book publishers are focused on the business economics.
Despite the fact this is somewhat close to the truth, not only in publishing industry, but also in music industry – think for example what happened with David Bowie’s the Leon Tapes case – is also true that today we are accelerated not to think properly on facts.
Everything is becoming to fast, temporary and instantaneous.
As I am diverting to more complex reading these days, like A Thousand Plateaus, probably because like Hank, I am an analogue person in a digital world, but as Thierry points
We being lead in a world of rising distrust, hate and despair
We are losing assertiveness .