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A quick link or two

One publication note:
My piece "The Myth of the Passive Indian (Was America before Columbus just a 'continent of patsies'?)," which ran in the last issue of Reason Magazine, is now available at Reason Online.


And two recommendations:
If you like audio books, check out this wonderful link: The LibriVox Catalog, for "Acoustical Liberation of Books in the Public Doman."

And Project Gutenberg is also hopping on the audio bandwagon, as well...

(Thanks to syredronning for the recommendations!)


The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's.
Mark Twain, letter to W.D. Howells, 2 April 1899

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
melissagay
Apr. 15th, 2006 02:57 pm (UTC)
EXCELLENT article! It always seemed fishy to me, that assertion that any group of humans would stop innovating and socially evolving. I mean, that's what humans *do*! Glad to see there's new evidence to debunk the "passive savage" theories.

I'm looking forward to your book!
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 16th, 2006 07:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you SO much! I really appreciate it. You've put your finger exactly on what irritates me about the attitude of the earlier scholarship. Thanks so much for your kind response!
melissagay
Apr. 16th, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
It''s a pleasure to laud your writing, because it is both good scholarship and accessible reading! That combination deserves to be encouraged. :-)

Plus you're awesome. :D
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 18th, 2006 04:45 pm (UTC)
You have no idea how much I appreciate your kind words. Being accessible is a big goal of mine, and your comments have made my day.

Especially since they come from an awesome person like you! :D Thanks indeed.
astromachy
Apr. 16th, 2006 03:37 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the article! I liked it a lot: lucid and interesting.
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 16th, 2006 07:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I really appreciate it. :)
estellye
Apr. 16th, 2006 09:12 pm (UTC)
A fascinating read, EH! Many thanks!

I believe that as result of our continued global cultural evolution it is becoming less and less possible for us to lie to ourselves as individuals or collectively. Have you noticed that the shelf life of politically expedient falsehoods has shortened significantly? Is the technology of communication responsible for this, or did the technology arrive in response to our innate need to reveal what's true? Bit of both, in my opinion. The tools have become available "just in time" and discoveries are made with seeming randomness but I think it is the law of serendipity at work. New information lifts our level of understanding about where we come from. The signicance of that to our current culture, as these facts creep into general awareness is yet to be determined, but I think it will be enormous.

I had not heard about the Inka's three dimensional writing system! How humbling to know that ancient cultures arrived independantly at unique and innovative ways of doing things and we didn't know it simply because we couldn't recognize it when we saw it! What a fabulous opportunity for study! How many such discoveries will be made as we become open to the idea that the solutions we are familiar with aren't the only solutions the human mind can conjure? It's an exciting prospect!
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 18th, 2006 04:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your wonderful comments!

I believe that as result of our continued global cultural evolution it is becoming less and less possible for us to lie to ourselves as individuals or collectively... The signicance of that to our current culture, as these facts creep into general awareness is yet to be determined, but I think it will be enormous.


Well said indeed! Excellent points.

I had not heard about the Inka's three dimensional writing system! How humbling to know that ancient cultures arrived independantly at unique and innovative ways of doing things and we didn't know it simply because we couldn't recognize it when we saw it!

Yes!!! Exactly. It reminds me of the Iroquois Constitution, which many scholars believed was a legend until they discovered they'd been staring at it for decades. Now it's translated into English and studied by political theorists. Humbling, indeed - and thrilling, when these new realizations are made, and the doors are open for new study.
agentxpndble
Apr. 17th, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks for all the leads!

I hadn't seen that Project Gutenberg had started archiving audio. Your post sort of called a strange thing to my attention... I hadn't realized how far I've drifted away from PG in the last few years. I used to be so excited about it - even looked into transcribing some of the Alcott thrillers for them (whole big story on it's own) - But now I rarely go there anymore.

And it's for the most interesting reason: The internet has further evolved and my need for PG has diminished - I now can access the rare texts that PG used to be my only source for. The big change was all (or at least, many) of the used bookstores getting their stock online. A strange shift, really. A low-tech move that out-tech'd the techiest thing evah! (If you see what I mean...) It's true I still access PG once in a while when I want to quote something and am too lazy to type it. But for the most part, it's served its purpose for me and I've basically moved on.

And if you take all that into account, I've proved the point that the internet has *not* killed the art of reading books - A reader will almost always, in the end, choose the real thing over the screen. I think the *real* revolution has been making the books *available* to the readers. Which reminds me... I have a whole essay in my head about what the owner of Kenny's Bookstore had to say last year at the book festival (about the new frontier of the bookseller.) Must make time...
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 18th, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC)
And if you take all that into account, I've proved the point that the internet has *not* killed the art of reading books ... I think the *real* revolution has been making the books *available* to the readers.

Fascinating and excellent points, indeed!

I think that's an idea that came home to me while conducting this interview; it's significant that these texts aren't being, or just being, digitized. Instead, they're being reprinted as books.

I'm not saying e-readers aren't the wave of the future. I quite like the though of being able to hold a library in my hand. But it's, as you say, not an either-or proposition.

I have a whole essay in my head about what the owner of Kenny's Bookstore had to say last year at the book festival (about the new frontier of the bookseller.) Must make time...

Oooh, I'd love to read it!
mackiedockie
Apr. 23rd, 2006 08:14 pm (UTC)
An excellent article! So much of the cultural analysis of pre-Columbian societies has been pre-focussed by both scholarly and nonscholarly agendas, polluting the conclusions. For instance, locally it has been argued that the Shoshoneans that lived in our area were nonliterate before they were overrun by settlers, even as rock art and clear records of elaborate tree carving communications between Lemhi bands indicate otherwise.

Thank you also for pointing me to ReasonOnLine!

Cath
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 26th, 2006 02:39 am (UTC)
For instance, locally it has been argued that the Shoshoneans that lived in our area were nonliterate before they were overrun by settlers, even as rock art and clear records of elaborate tree carving communications between Lemhi bands indicate otherwise.

Oh wow - what a perfect (and telling) example! Thanks a million for your very kind response. I couldn't agree with you more about the scholarly and nonscholarly agendas. I appreciate your comments.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )