Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Flooding the scriptorium

I haven't been reading much as of late. Perhaps this is why when I happened to pick up two magazines from my towering unread magazine stack and randomly pick an article from each and find that both pieces are dedicated to the commoditification of text - well, then, its feels like what I've read is destined to be something worth sharing.

The first article is The Answer Factory from the November issue of WIRED. Its a profile of a company that cranks out HowTo articles and videos in pursuit of profit via Google ads. The magnitude and scope of the crap that they produce is breathtaking.

The second article is not available in its entirety online. Its Rebecca Mead, The Publishing World, “The Gossip Mill,” The New Yorker, October 19, 2009, p. 62 and it profiles another company that churns out words for coin as well, but these words form stories that are group- and ghost-written for the young adult market.

Thanks to these articles, I now believe that there is nothing inherently lovely about words.

1 comment:

pzed said...

I remember a comic strip once (can't remember which) where the character ordered something claiming to be "all the world's great literature in one volume!" Turned out to be a dictionary with the instructions "some assembly required."