Science

Wiki Magazines on the Way, Neal Stephenson Is Awesome.

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News for the Vickies

Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age offers a portrait of an exclusive community of neo-Victorians living within a dizzying nanotech future. One of the charming quirks of the upper echelons: Reading the same news as other people in their social group—sometimes even on paper:

He sat down at the kitchen table. Mrs. Hull was already marmalading his crumpet. As she laid out plates and silver, Hackworth picked up a large sheet of blank paper. "The usual," he said, and then the paper was no longer blank; now it was the front page of the Times.

Hackworth got all the news that was appropriate to his station in life, plus a few optional services: the latest from his favorite cartoonists and columnists from around the world…

A gentleman of higher rank and more far-reaching responsibilities would probably get different information written in a different way, and the top stratum of New Chusan actually got the Times on paper, printed out by a big antique press that did a run of a hundred or so, every morning at about 3 a.m.

Looks like Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is bringing us one step closer to the the future of nostalgia for the past, with a hybrid option:

Jimmy Wales, founder of the user-edited Wikipedia, said users will be able to publish personal magazines using content from Wikia sites. Traditional magazine readership is in decline, with some closing, and the new initiative is aimed at the wealth of information on the Internet that can be personalized….

Using HP's MagCloud, users will be able to print on-demand magazines from Wikia's more than 50,000 communities and 3 million pages of content. To publish a glossy, full-color magazine for friends, the coffee table or mass distribution, Wikia users select the content and cover page, and then order their request through MagCloud, HP said in a statement.

"We have no idea if this will be popular," Wales said.

I wrote a big ol' article about Jimmy Wales here.

NEXT: Newsweek: Better Red Than Free!

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  1. sounds cool. My idea of a comic book may not be too far off.

  2. The Diamond Age better come true in my lifetime. I’d kill to live in the Distributed Republic.

  3. Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhllllllllllllyyyyyyyy!

    All the accuracy of WP, in on-demand paper form! Hey, look, the clock just struck 13.

    Meanwhile, what plans does WP have to make amends for the awful smears of Rush Limbaugh? Note that those smears were allowed into WQ’s page due to WP’s rules. Simply because the bogus quotes had been printed in a book, they couldn’t be gotten rid of despite the fact that they were obviously bogus and no air dates or other info was provided.

    And, another recent case shows just how flawed Wikipedia’s rules are. In that case, WP knew that a “reliablesource” wasn’t telling the whole truth and was able to keep those who were telling the truth out of the entry because they weren’t “reliablesources”.

    If Orwell were still around he might write a book just about them, and not just because of those but because of WP’s remarkable ability to adjust to the newtruth: peekURL.com/zhu5h1n

    1. You rang, sahib?

  4. Shut the fuck up, LoneWacko.

  5. Shut the fuck up while choking to death on a Mexican tranny’s shit, Lonewacko.

  6. “We have no idea if this will be popular,” Wales said.

    I really, really like this and I don’t know why.

  7. Oh, yeah:

    In January 2007, the Sci-Fi Channel announced that it will be making a six hour mini-series based on The Diamond Age. According to a June 2009 report in Variety, Zo? Green had been hired to write the series, with George Clooney and Grant Heslov of Smokehouse Productions as executive producers on the project.[5]

    1. Yay, I’m sure it will be redone to highlight the evils of free markets.

  8. Warty, wasn’t Stephenson originally involved in the production too? On the one hand, i’m stoked; on the other hand, there’s no way SyFy’s not going to completely fuck it up.

  9. One of these days I’m going to get around to finding a way to come up with more content, but for now there are a few more examples of inaccuracies and bias in Wikipedia at the link.

    Bloggers might want to note that WP looks down on them, strongly discouraging using blogs as sources. Their idea of a “reliablesource” is the NYT. No, really.

    P.S. In case anyone replies to this, their responses will almost assuredly be ad homs, thereby conceding my points and showing the childish, anti-intellectual nature of libertarians. Dozens of comments here have shown that the phrase “fascist libertarian” isn’t an oxymoron.

    1. Ad hominems don’t concede your points, nor do they reveal anything about anyone’s anti-intellectual natures. They indicate that people don’t consider you worthy of an intelligent response.

  10. Shut the fuck up, Lonewacko. While you’re shutting the fuck up, go find a dictionary and look up ad hominem, you pus-filled doughy eunuch.

  11. I hadn’t heard that he was, X, but I’d be surprised if he wasn’t.

    I’m surprised that SyFy isn’t making an Anathem series, though. Join the fraas and friends each week as they defeat a new supernatural villain using their psyonic powers!

  12. is it just me, or does anyone else find stephenson’s writing sludgy and dull?

    1. Sometimes. Especially Snow Crash.

    2. Its mostly you. He can be a little wordy at times, no doubt, but even when he’s going on and on, there’s usually enough nuggets of goodness to make it worth the climb.

      1. No, it’s not mostly him. Stephenson’s writing is sludgy and dull.

    3. Large parts of Cryptonomicon felt that way, but ultimately I enjoyed it.

      The Diamond Age, however, wastes not a word. It’s one of my favoritest books ever.

      1. slogged my way through cryptonomicon and it was like watching a marguerite duras film. and the payoff at the end was made-for-tv.

  13. This actually sounds kind of interesting, flaws in the content and reliable sources aside.

  14. Isn’t it totally illegal to then charge for these magazines? The ‘sample’ magazine on MagCloud – Grover’s Jobs – was purchasable for $6.49.

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