The popular image of Scandinavians is full of contradictions. Denmark, Norway and Sweden must be by several measures the richest, happiest and most successful societies the world has ever known. [...] Scandinavia is also famous for hedonism and sexual freedom; yet the plots of Scandi noir stories often turn not on crimes but on old sins: adultery, incest, abuse.
Tom Shippey, TLS, December 2 2016
In Utopia Drive, Erik Reece [...] suggests that utopian settlements are constructed to accommodate escape and evasion, to provide safety and privacy in an alarming world. [...] Yet on the question of what constitutes utopia, Reece appears suitably baffled. [...] Reece's utopias are consistently constructed on the struggle to give something up, be it belongings, individuality, alcohol, religion, or sex.
Jacqueline Wilson, review of Utopia Drive by Eric Reece, TLS December 2 2016
Tutorials about machine learning are, it seems two a penny. However, guides to machine learning by machine learning experts, however solid they may be as textbooks, frequently seem to lack ways in which the tools can be applied to a particular domain – in my case, to publishing.
Many years ago, when there were new and second-hand bookshops all the way along London’s Charing Cross Road , there was a memorable bookshop called Joseph Poole. Much of my reading in my late teens and early twenties originate in that shop.
Yet again Rave Technologies assembled an impressive cast of speakers for their annual publishing event (London, October 2017). Despite the event being managed by a vendor, Rave resists any attempt to turn it into a corporate showcase.
This year the theme was broadly based around innovation, specifically digital innovation – you could ask if there is any innovation that is not digital, these days, but of that more below.
An interesting report, based on a 2015 survey but published 2016, gives an overview into how one major university, Oxford, enables its users to find information about its own collections – not just researchers, but institutional staff (such as museum curators) as well.
The other day I read a review of a book by Alberto Manguel, entitled The Meaning of the Library (Princeton, 2015). It's a fascinating question - what is the meaning of a library? And what is the catalogue for?
David Crotty posted a fascinating article on Scholarly Kitchen last week, highlighting a fundamental difference between scientific and humanities academic publishing. His argument related to open-access publishing, but this simply highlights the distinction between the two kinds of activity. Is that distinction justified?